Tribunal To Rule On Transfer Of Rivers Governorship Suit | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Tribunal To Rule On Transfer Of Rivers Governorship Suit

Posted: Jul 23, 2015 at 2:03 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Joe Nwankwo –  Abuja


The Rivers State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, sitting in Abuja, on Wednesday fixed July 27th for the determination of an application challenging the legality  of the Justice Muazu Pindiga led tribunal sitting in Abuja.

The application challenging the tribunal’s jurisdiction was filed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), 1st respondent in the petition filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC), and its guovernorship candidate in the April 11 election, Dakuku Peterside.

Nyesom Wike

Nyesom Wike

At a resumed sitting, INEC’s counsel Dr Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, had urged the court to strike out the petition for want of jurisdiction.

Ikpeazu said: “The petition is incompetent and a nullity; reason being that the tribunal was not established in Rivers state as prescribed in Section 285 (2) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

He stated that the application of Section 285(2) of the CFRN would give effect to the provision of the constitution, which states that a governorship election petition tribunal shall be established in every state of the Federation.

Ikpeazu argued that the reason of crises and insecurity adduced by the petitioners for the tribunal to sit in Abuja cannot hold on account of Section 305 of the 1999 Constitution.

His words: “Under Section 305 of the 1999 Constitution, it is only the President that can declare a state of emergency, which can lead to transfer of a tribunal.”

Other respondents, the PDP and Governor Nyesom Wike, did not oppose the application, as they urged the tribunal to “grant it in its entirety”.

Reacting, counsel to the petitioners, Chief Akin Olujimi, SAN, urged the court to dismiss the application.