Friday, 23 October 2015

Rivers Election Tribunal Place Hold On Judgment

The Rivers state Governorship Election Tribunal sitting in Abuja has put on hold judgment in a petition filled by the All Progressives Congress and its gubernatorial candidate, Dr. Dakuku Peterside against the electoral victory of Governor Nyesom Wike of the Peoples Democratic Party.

This stance was taken by the tribunal yesterday, October 22, after both parties in the  had argued their case.

Governor Wike and his party had asked the tribunal to dismiss the petition for lacking in substance and merit.

The counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission had told the tribunal to dismiss Dankuku’s petition arguing that the burden of proof rests with the petitioner who had failed to make his case before the tribunal, The Sun.

On the part of PDP lawyer, Wole Olanipekun (SAN) the petition lacks merit adding that the tribunal has no jurisdiction to amend APC’s petition after the party has abandoned the reliefs.

Olanipekun further stressed that while the petitioner alleged several cases of violence and abduction of voters but could not present  same before the tribunal a single witness to prove his case.

Aligning with PDP lawyer, the INEC counsel, Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN)  told the court that soldiers, DSS men and mobile policemen  brought by the APC gave contradictory evidence which did not give a true reflection of what took place at the polling units thus their statement were unreliable.

However, the counsel to the APC in Rivers state Akin Olujimi (SAN) prayed the tribunal to grant the request of his client arguing that the burden of proof rests with the respondents.

Olujimi noted that card readers remain valid to the proper conduct of  the election stating that the petitioners have provided the court with enough evidence that the  April 11 gubernatorial election in the state was marred with irregularities.