Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State will challenge a ruling by an election tribunal removing him from office, the lawyer representing his party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has said.
The election that brought Mr. Wike into office was nullified on Saturday by the Rivers State Governorship Election Tribunal, which ordered a fresh poll.
The tribunal, headed by Suleiman Ambrosa, said it was satisfied the petitioner – All Progressives Congress’ candidate Dakuku Peterside – had proven its claim that the election was fraudulent.
Addressing journalists after the judgment, counsel to the PDP, Chris Uche, said Mr. Wike remained governor until the appeal processes were exhausted.
He said the judgment delivered by Justice Ambrosa-led Tribunal must be tested in the interest of justice.
Mr. Uche said the tribunal’s reliance on card reader accreditation to nullify the governorship election, when the Respondents and the petitioners confirmed that both card reader and manual accreditation were used for the election, requires an appeal.
He said it was shocking that less than 24 hours after lawyers on all sides submitted nine written addresses and documents, the Tribunal sent notice that judgment would be delivered on Saturday morning.
Mr. Uche said the tribunal was aware that the Supreme Court judgment on the jurisdiction of the tribunal outside of Rivers State would be delivered on Tuesday.
He said the tribunal had 7 days to deliver its judgment, but chose to do so in less than two days.
In its judgment, Justice Suleiman Ambrosa ruled that the card reader accreditation was vital to the election and the votes recorded.
He said on the balance of probability, he was inclined to believe the petitioner witnesses ahead of the witnesses of the Respondents.
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