AAC’s Awara loses petition to Wike - Rivers Tribunal
Tiamiyu Saheed Oluwatosin
The Governorship Candidate of the Africa Action Congress, Biokpomabo Awara has lost his petition challenging the victory of Governor Nyesom Wike of the Peoples Democratic Party.
Wine was declared winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
Awara had asked the tribunal to declare him winner of the March 9th 2019 governorship election in Rivers State or in the alternative nullify the election conducted by INEC for non compliance to the electoral rules and guidelines.
But the three man panel led by Justice Kingsley Ojiakor in a unanimous judgment, ruled that the first petitioner failed to prove his case beyond reasonable doubt.
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It said that the exhibits, including results sheets and other documents tendered by the witnesses were not considered as Certified True Copies.
The tribunal also said Awara was not able to call in a single witness from each polling unit to show that he was leading in some local government areas as claimed in his petition.
The Tribunal further explained that the first petitioner failed to prove that INEC did not comply with the Electoral Act to declare Governor Wike winner and therefore dismissed the petition for lack of merit.
Speaking to newsmen, counsel to the petitioner, Emenike Ebete claimed that the judgment was a victory to his client following the fact that the matter was finally heard on its merit, just as he disclosed that his client will be ready to appeal the judgment.
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“As far as we are concerned, this judgement is a victory to the first petitioner because we never thought that we would get to this stage.
“Before now it was dismissed on grounds that it was abandoned.
“We are certainly going to appeal this judgement because there are a lot of issues that were not addressed by the Tribunal. We are working towards making what happened in Rivers state a Law.
“That INEC can suspend an election and come back to declare results after 3weeks? We want the Court to tell us that INEC has the power to do so,” he said.
On his part, counsel to Governor Nyesom Wike, Ferdinard Orbih, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria said the judgment means that the victory of Governor had gotten judicial stamp.
Press reports that the Tribunal directed Awara to pay three hundred thousand naira each as cost to Governor Wike, PDP and INEC.
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