HON. JUSTICE AMBROSA’s GOVERNORSHIP ELECTION TRIBUNAL VINDICATED BY HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY PANELS
Out of the 31 State Constituencies challenged by the APC and which were considered by various Panels on the merit, APC successfully moved the Election Tribunal (different panels) based on credible and overwhelming evidence to nullify Elections in 19 constituencies at FIRST INSTANCE. One (1) of the constituencies (OKRIKA) was not considered on the merit, it was struck out by the court inadvertently, and the motion for reinstatement was not allowed. That decision is on Appeal at the Court Appeal and may be caught up by 180 days limitation.
The only seat (ELEME) that was won by APC in that election, which was challenged by the PDP, was upheld by the Election Tribunal.
These were DIFFERENT PANELS that considered petitions of several persons separately yet they reaffirmed, at the first instance, that elections in 19 constituencies (i.e. in 16 LGAs out of 23) did not comply substantially with the Electoral Act and Guidelines. Of the other constituencies, one of the panels relied mainly on pre-election matter, which the Court Appeal had ruled on and clearly held that the APC gave INEC more than 60days pre-primary notice contrary to PDP’s claim that it was less than 21 days. When the Court of Appeals considers APC’s appeals, it is clear that APC would win another 6 constituencies (4 additional LGAs) which were dismissed on this ground. Of course these would bring election in 20 LGAs to a nullity, leaving only OMUMA, EMOHUA and OKRIKA. Recall that no results were declared by INEC for Omuma and Emohua. That leaves only Okrika standing.
The implication of this is that different panels sat over Rivers State Elections and they variously nullified a total of 22 LGA out of the 23 LGAs in the State, except OKRIKA. Have they not vindicated Hon Justice Ambrosa in his judgment?
I shall take time to review both the proceedings and the Judgment of the Rivers State Tribunal in subsequent posts, hopefully before an appeal is filed. This is so that I’m not caught up by the subjudice doctrine.
So far, this is how the PARTIES STAND ON THE ELECTION PETITIONS.
CONSTITUENCIES WHERE APC PETITIONS WERE ALLOWED
1. Ahoada East I – ERIC APIA
2. Akuku-Toru I – BENIBO ANABRABA
3. Akuku-Toru II – INEYE JACK
4. Andoni – Dr. DRESSMAN
5. Asari -Toru I – Ben HORSFAL
6. Asari -Toru II – HOPE BARANGO
7. Bonny – HENRY HALLIDAY
8. Degema – ELDREAD BRAIDE
9. Eleme – JOSIAH OLU
10. Etche II – GOLDEN BEN-CHIOMA
11. Gokana – Dr. BARIKOR
12. Ikwerre – CHIKERE WANJOKU
13. Khana I – LEGBOSI NWIDADAH
14. Khana II – FRIDAY NKE-EE (FENCO)
15. Obio/Akpor I – COLLINS ORDU
16. Obio/Akpor II – BELIEVE WALI
17. ONELGA I – GIFT NWOKOCHA
18. Opobo/Nkoro – MILLER
19. Port Harcourt II – IRENE INIMGBA
20. Tai – MATHEW DIKE
CONSTITUENCIES WHERE APC PETITIONS WERE DISMISSED
1. Abua/Odual –
2. Ahoada East II –
3. Ahoada West –
4. Emohua –
5. Etche I –
6. Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni II –
7. Ogu/Bolo –
8. Omuma –
9. Oyigbo –
10. Port Harcourt I –
11. Port Harcourt III –
12. Okrika – Not determined on the merit
Achinike Godwin William-Wobodo
Founding Partner/Head Litigation at EDWARD & WILLIAM Law Firm