Rivers Election Tribunal Dismisses Two Petitions Against Wike’s Victory

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Some management staff of Total E & P, chiefs and stakeholders of Opobo/Nkoro Local Government Area of Rivers State, during a free healthcare programme in Opobo Town, last Wednesday.

The Rivers State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Port Harcourt has dismissed two petitions filed by Labour Party and Peoples Progressive Party (PPP) seeking to nullify the March 9 election victory of Governor Nyesom Wike.
The tribunal dismissed the two petitions, last Wednesday, following an application brought by the Governorship Candidate of the Labour Party in the state, Chief Isaac Wonwu and his party and his PPP counterparts seeking to withdraw their suits before the elections petition tribunal in Port Harcourt.
At the resumed hearing of the tribunal, counsel to Labour Party and its candidate, Uche Ulemene sought for the leave of the court to withdraw the petition, and urged the tribunal to strike out the matter.
Ulemene urged the court to take the application out of the pre-hearing stage as stated on Page 47 Subsection 1, First Scheduled of the Electoral Act, as amended.
On his part, counsel to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Governor Nyesom Wike, however, did not oppose the applications, while counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Abduhakin Mustapha opposed the applications, and asked the court not to strike out the matter but to dismiss the petitions entirely.
Mustapha, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) based his argument on the fact that the motion which the petition sought to strike out lacked merit, and urged the tribunal to dismiss it instead to striking it out.
The three-man panel led by Justice G.K. Kaigama, after listening to the arguments of the parties, upheld the counter-motion raised by counsel to INEC.
He, therefore, dismissed the petition, after other parties in the matter had withdrawn all their applications against the petitioner.
Speaking to newsmen, counsel to Labour Party, Uche Ulemene said his client decided to withdraw his petition in the interest of the state.
He said that the Rivers State Labour Party Governorship Candidate sought the leave of the Tribunal to withdraw the petition and strike out same.
He informed the Tribunal that his application to withdraw the petition was accompanied by a notice of consent to withdraw, marked as Exhibit A.
He added that also annexed was an affidavit against illegal terms of withdrawal.