The Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, the Rivers state capital, has nullified the May 23 local government elections held in the state, effectively sacking those elected at the elections.
Delivering judgment in a case brought by the Peoples Democratic Party, which boycotted the poll, Justice Lambo Akanbi set aside the election conducted by the Prof. Augustine Ahiauzu-led Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission.
The Court said the conduct of the election was illegal since it held in disobedience of an injunction.
The PDP had boycotted the election citing court injunction, which ordered that status quo be maintained.
Then Governor Rotimi Amaechi’s party, the All Progressives Congress, won 22 of the 23 chairmanship seats in the elections. The party also won 297 councillorship seats in the 302 wards while other political parties won the rest.
Justice Akanbi said conducting the elections despite a court order was a demonstration of executive lawlessness and impunity.
The PDP had in Suit No. FHC/PH/CS/84/2015, prayed the court to declare the conduct of the elections illegal and of no effect.
The respondents in the suit were: Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission (RSIEC), Governor Rotimi Amaechi and four others.
Meanwhile, there was pandemonium at the premises of the Federal High Court on Thursday morning as the police battled to foil an attempt by arsonists to raze the court
“There was an unsuccessful attempt to torch Federal High Court,” police spokesperson in the state, Muhammed Ahmad, told PREMIUM TIMES. “It was never an explosion as speculated. Investigation has in earnest commenced.”