The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the election of Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike declaring that the election was conducted in line with the Electoral Act.
In a lead judgment by Justice Kekere-Ekun, the Supreme Court unanimously validated the election of Governor Wike of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, on the grounds that he won with the lawfully valid votes.
The Supreme Court panel lead by Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmoud Mohammed declared that it will be giving reasons for its judgment on February 12.
The Court of Appeal had on December 16, 2015, affirmed the judgment of the Rivers Governorship Election Tribunal, that Mr. Wike was not validly elected.
The Rivers Tribunal had earlier on October 24 nullified Mr. Wike’s election. The tribunal, which delivered its ruling in Abuja, also ordered that a fresh governorship election be conducted in the state.
After the tribunal’s ruling, the governor headed to the Court of Appeal, saying the judgment was untenable.
The petition challenging the election of Mr. Wike as Rivers State Governor was filed by Dakuku Peterside, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the election.
Reacting to the ruling, Governor Wike declared that his victory at the Supreme Court is a victory for the rule of law and the people of Rivers State.
He added that the Supreme Court judgment is a victory for democracy and a confirmation that the will of God will always prevail over the machinations of men.
In a statement issued by Simeon Nwakaudu, Special Assistant to the Rivers State Governor on Electronic Media, Governor Wike said that the judgment of the Supreme Court validating his election is a confirmation of the mandate freely given to him by the people of the state.
Governor Wike trekked on the streets of Port Harcourt before ending up at the Government House. As he walked the streets he was greeted by celebrating Rivers people.
While assuring the people of Rivers State that his victory at the Supreme Court will lead to greater delivery of democracy dividends across the state, Governor Wike extended a hand of fellowship to the Rivers State APC Governorship Candidate, Dakuku Peterside inviting him to join hands with his administration to develop the state.
He praised Dr. Peterside for approaching the Judiciary, instead of embarking on violence, stressing that the people of Rivers State will continue to benefit from the pro-people projects and programmes of his administration as he is determined to always live up to the social contract he entered with the Rivers people.