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Rivers Election Tribunal: PDP, Wike set to appeal Tribunal ruling

Uche Secondus, acting National Chairman, PDP
Uche Secondus, acting National Chairman, PDP

The Peoples  Democratic  Party ( PDP), and the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike will appeal the judgment  of the Rivers State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal  which ordered fresh governorship  election  on the basis of the  card reader accreditation  during  the  election.

Addressing  journalists  after the  judgment  delivered  by Justice  Suleiman Ambrosa of the Rivers State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal,  Counsel  to  the  PDP,  Chris Uche, SAN,  declared  that  Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike  remains Governor  until  the  appeal processes are exhausted.

He said  the nature of the judgment  delivered  by  Justice  Ambrosa-led Tribunal  makes appeal vital as the new position  adopted  by  the  tribunal  must be tested in the  interest of justice.

Uche  (SAN ) noted  that  the  tribunal’s  reliance  on  card reader accreditation to nullify  the  governorship  election when  evidence  was led by  both the Respondents  and  the petitioners that both card reader and manual  accreditation  were used for the election  requires testing  at the Court of Appeal.

He noted that ‘it was shocking  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.’

Uche  (SAN ) informed that  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 said that the tribunal had 7 days to deliver its judgment, but chose to do so in less than two days.

In its judgment, Justice Suleiman Ambrosa ruled that the card reader accreditation was vital to the election and the votes recorded. He said that the press statement issued by INEC on the matter supersedes the Electoral Act as the card reader was a new introduction that was aimed to promote transparency.

He said on the balance of probability, he is inclined to believe the petitioner witnesses ahead of the witnesses of the Respondents.

The tribunal declared that testimonies of the 56 witnesses called by the petitioner were enough to cover the entire state of 5972 polling units and points.

Justice Ambrosa declared that the documents tendered by APC which the party failed to lead evidence in court were not dumped on it. He however, said that the documents tendered by the Respondents were dumped on it and it would not attach weight to them.

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