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Supreme Court strikes out Wike's application

28 October 2015, 08:23

Abuja - The Supreme Court on Tuesday struck out the interlocutory appeal filed by Governor Nyesom Wike against the jurisdiction of the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal of Rivers State to sit in Abuja.

The governor had contended that the tribunal ought to have held its proceedings in the state.

Delivering judgment, Justice Amiru Sanusi, said the decision to relocate the tribunal to Abuja hinged on national security.

Sanusi, therefore, held that Wike’s suit lacked merit and substance, saying, "this is to be thrown out in its entirety."

Justice Sanusi noted that the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bukachuwa was right in her decision to cite the tribunal in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

"That was done for the protection of lives of the tribunal members, parties and their supporters in view of the volatile nature of the state during that period."

The tribunal last Saturday nullified the April 11 governorship election which produced the governor.

Also read: Supreme Court delivers judgement on Wike's appeal

The tribunal also ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC to conduct fresh election within 90 days.

Before the tribunal's judgment, Wike's interlocutory appeal was pending before the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court had by this decision, upheld the ruling of the Appellate Court that earlier validated the relocation of the tribunal to Abuja on ground of insecurity in Rivers.

Wike had approached the apex court seeking an order to set aside the judgment of the Court of Appeal and to hold that the tribunal lack jurisdiction to sit outside of the state.

"I agree with the Court of Appeal and the President of the Court of Appeal is right in relocating the panel to Abuja.

"On the whole, I hold that the tribunal was properly constituted by the President of the Court of Appeal even without consultation with the Chief Judge of Rivers state or the President of the Customary Court‎.

"The Court, for the benefit of hindsight took judicial notice of the fact that there were no Chief Judge and President of the Customary Court during the period under review,'' the Justice said.

He added: "it is necessary to protect members of the panel from violence to where their lives will be secured.

"The President of the Court of Appeal has the power to do so and has judiciously utilised the power.

"In the light of the evidence laid before us, the application is struck out for lack of merit," he said. 



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