Appeal Court Sacks Wike, Orders Fresh Polls In Rivers

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The three-man Court of Appeal panel sitting in Abuja has struck out the appeal of Nyesom Wike seeking a dismissal of the judgment of the Rivers election petition tribunal which sacked him as governor of the state.
In a 110-page ruling delivered by Justice M.B. Dongban-Mensem, the court ruled that the election of Nyesom Wike did not conform with the Electoral Act.
The court said it was satisfied that the petitioners at the lower tribunal- All Progressives Congress, APC, and its gubernatorial candidate in Rivers state, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, successfully proved that the governorship election was not only marred by irregularities, but also conducted with total disregard to both the Electoral Act, 2010, and Electoral Guidelines issued by INEC.
The Court has ordered a rerun in 90 days.
In delivering a final ruling the Court of Appeal decided all the seven issues raised by Governor Wike against in favour of Dakuku Peterside and the All Progressives Congress party.
On Saturday, October 24, the tribunal had held that Wike was not duly elected governor of Rivers‎ state.
It ruled that a fresh election be held in the state within 90 days.
But Wike appealed against the judgment, insisting that he was duly elected governor of the state‎.
He asked the appellate court to set aside the judgment of the tribunal, arguing that‎ the lower court failed to consider the evidence – that a proper election took place in Rivers state on April 11 – tendered before it.
Wike had previously gone to the Supreme Court to challenge the jurisdiction of the tribunal, which sacked him. His main argument at the apex court was that the tribunal should have sat in Rivers state and not in Abuja.
But the Supreme Court dismissed his suit for lacking in merit‎, ruling that the tribunal – owing to security reasons – was right to have relocated to Abuja to sit in judgment on the petition of Dakuku Peterside, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the April 11 governorship election in Rivers state.

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