Wike Urges Tribunal to Set Aside Ruling on Election Materials’ Inspection

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Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State on Tuesday prayed the state’s Governorship Election Petition Tribunal to set aside its order on the inspection of materials used in conducting the election.

The tribunal Chairman, Justice Muazu Pindiga, had on June 11, ordered for the inspection of the election materials used to conduct the election that brought Wike in as governor of the state.

At Tuesday’s sitting, Wike’s Counsel, Mr Emmanuel Ukala, SAN, urged the tribunal to set aside the order on grounds that it was granted prior to the hearing of the case.

Ukala also argued that the order, which was granted ex-parte, was made when there was a pending motion by the governor challenging the tribunal’s jurisdiction to entertain the applicant’s petition.

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He further contended that the ex-parte motion filed by the applicant was unknown to the Electoral Act 2010.

The governor’s counsel also submitted that his client was not put on notice to enable him to enter appearance to and be heard before granting the motion.

Wike’s counsel also argued that the terms of the ex-parte order for the inspection of the election materials were beyond the tribunal’s jurisdiction.

Responding, the Counsel to the petitioner, Chief Akin Olujinmi, SAN, said he had just been served with a copy of the motion.

He, therefore, requested for a short adjournment to enable him to study the motion and reply on point of law.

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Mr Ifedayo Adedipe SAN, the counsel to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), concurred with Olujinmi’s submission.

Justice Pindiga, in a short ruling, directed parties to file all their replies on point of law, to enable him to take all pending applications before him on the next adjourned date.

It would be recalled that the petitioner, Chief Dakuku Peterside of the All Progressive Congress (APC), had approached the tribunal challenging Wike’s victory in the election.

Peterside had joined the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and the PDP as co-respondents in the petition.

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