Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Supreme Court dismisses Wike suit challenging the jurisdiction of election tribunal

River State Governor, Nyesom Wike

The supreme court has dismissed the suit filed by Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, challenging  the jurisdiction of the Rivers governorship election petition tribunal to hear a petition by Dakuku Peterside of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Wike  argued that the tribunal sitting in Abuja had no jurisdiction over matters that transpired in the state. He said the tribunal should have sat in Rivers State not Abuja.
The appeal court had earlier ruled that the tribunal could sit in Abuja to handle Rivers election petitions. Like the Yobe, Borno, Adamawa and Akwa Ibom tribunal, the Rivers State tribunal was moved to Abuja for security reasons.
Last Saturday, the Rivers tribunal  sacked Wike as governor of the state, and ordered that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) hold a fresh election within 90 days.
Wike said he will appeal the verdict of the tribunal up to the Supreme Court if the need arises.
The apex court ruled that the tribunal was properly constituted and had jurisdiction to hear the petition.
It stated  that the shift in location of the tribunal from Rivers to Abuja was out of necessity, and added that the president of the appeal court did not err in law by ordering the‎ relocation of the tribunal.
The court, therefore, dismissed Wike’s suit for lack of merit. It was a unanimous judgement as the seven  judges of the court stated that the relocation of the tribunal was to protect members of the panel and as such complied with the “doctrine of necessity”.
Source: The Cable

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