The Supreme Court on Tuesday, dismissed the suit filed by Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, challenging the jurisdiction of the Rivers governorship election petition tribunal to hear a petition that on Saturday, annulled the April 11 gubernatorial poll that brought him to power by candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dakuku Peterside
In his argument, Wike had argued that the tribunal sitting in Abuja had.......
no jurisdiction over matters that transpired in the state, contending however, that the tribunal should have sat in Rivers State and not Abuja.
However, the tribunal was moved to Abuja on the ground of security concerns, like those of Akwa Ibom, Yobe, Adamawa and Borno.
The appeal court had earlier ruled that the tribunal could sit in Abuja to handle Rivers election petitions.
In their judgment this morning, a seven-man panel of Justices of the apex court led by Justice John Fabiyi, held that the panel that sacked Wike was properly constituted.
The apex court maintained that the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Zulkachuwa acted within her powers when she relocated the tribunal from Rivers State to Abuja.
According to Justice Amiru Sanusi who read the lead judgment, “evidence abound that there was serious security challenges prevailing in Rivers State which therefore called for the doctrine of necessity to be adopted”.
The apex court held that the relocation of the tribunal to Abuja was to safeguard the lives of the Chairman and members of the panel that heard the petition that was lodged against Wike by the All Progressives Congress, APC, and its governorship candidate in Rivers State, Dr. Dakuku Peterside.
“I am unable to see any merit in this appeal and I hereby dismiss it without any order as to cost”, Justice Sanusi held.
All the other members of the apex court panel also concurred with the lead verdict.
Recall also that in its ruling on Saturday, the Rivers State Governorship Election Tribunal, had sacked Wike as governor of the state, and ordered that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to hold a fresh election within 90 days.
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