Rivers Governorship election: Tribunal dismisses AAC, ADP petitions

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By Barth Ndubuwah, Port Harcourt

Rivers State Governorship Election Tribunal has affirmed the re-election of Rivers State Governor,  Nyesom Ezenwo Wike following the dismissal of the petition filed by the defeated African Action Congress ( AAC) Governorship Candidate,  Biokpomabo Awara seeking the nullification of the March 9, Rivers State Governorship Election.

Also on Saturday, the Tribunal dismissed the petition filed by the Action Democratic Party (ADP) Governorship Candidate,  Mr Victor Fingesi against the election of Governor Wike.

“We affirm the election of Nyesom Ezenwo Wike as duly elected “, the Tribunal declared.

The Tribunal declared that both petitioners failed to prove their petitions beyond reasonable doubt. The Tribunal stressed that they failed to adduce evidence to prove that the election was  marred by violence and irregularities.

The judgment of the Tribunal in the AAC Petition was read by  Justice K. B. Olawoyin .

The Tribunal declared that Governor Wike won 19 out of the 21 Local Government Areas where elections held, while the petitioner won in two Local Government Areas.

The Tribunal said the petitioner failed to call any witness  to give credible evidence that there were Malpractices during the election that favoured Governor Wike.

The Tribunal also held that the first  petitioner can no longer lead any general and nebulous evidence on violence.

The Tribunal declared that what was suspended was the Collation of results for 6 Local Government Areas.  The declared that as at the time of the suspension of Collation,  INEC  had concluded Collation of results in 17 Local Government Areas.

The Rivers State Governorship Election Tribunal stated that by participating in the Collation Process,  the petitioner waited his right to complain.

The Tribunal said that the petitioner called 20 witnesses. The Tribunal said it had earlier struck out the evidence of two witnesses.

The Tribunal ruled that the results tendered by the petitioner,  Awara Biokpomabo while giving evidence were inadmissible and therefore expunged from the records.

According to the Tribunal, the AAC Governorship Candidate,  Biokpomabo Awara tendered certified true copy of the State Governorship Election and the declaration of results by INEC.  The Tribunal noted that  neither Awara Biokpomabo nor any of his witnesses tendered any results different from that of INEC .

The Tribunal also held that the  ADP Governorship Candidate lacks the locus standi to file the petition, having sued the first petitioner,  instead of Governor Wike who won the Governorship election