Rivers Tribunal Orders Governorship Election Rerun, Wike Vows To Appeal Verdict

The Rivers State Governorship election petition tribunal has sacked Governor Nyesom Wike of the State, ordering a rerun of the governorship election.

This came as the sacked governor said he will appeal the court ruling.

In a judgement delivered by the chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Ambrosa, he said the petitioners’ witnesses testified truthfully without any falsehood in their demeanour.

It further held that evidence showed that it was not conducted in line with regulations of the INEC, adding that the respondents could not run away from documents presented, even as the use of card readers was deliberately defied.

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The Tribunal maintained the it was not impressed with the character of all the defence witnesses, who failed to read out documents presented by the petitioners during cross examination

The tribunal said the petitioner had proved their case; hence the election was not in compliance with the Electoral and as such Wike was not validly returned.

It, therefore, ordered the INEC to conduct fresh election.

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has vowed to appeal the tribunal verdict that nullified his election as Rivers State governor.

The lawyer representing Wike’s party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, disclosed this shortly after Justice Suleiman Ambrosa’s judgment on Saturday.

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Addressing journalists after the judgment, counsel to the PDP, Chris Uche said Mr. Wike remained governor until the appeal processes were exhausted.

He said the judgment delivered by Justice Ambrosa-led Tribunal must be tested in the interest of justice.

Uche said the tribunal’s reliance on card reader accreditation to nullify the governorship election, when the respondents and the petitioners confirmed that both card reader and manual accreditation were used for the election, required an appeal.

He said it was surprising that less than 24 hours after lawyers on all sides submitted nine written addresses and documents, the Tribunal sent notice that judgment would be delivered on Saturday morning.

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The lawyer said the tribunal was aware that the Supreme Court judgment on the jurisdiction of the tribunal outside of Rivers State would be delivered on Tuesday.

He lamented that the tribunal had 7 days to deliver its judgment, but chose to do so in less than two days.

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