The Rivers State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja, has dismissed an application by Rivers Governor, Nyesom Wike, seeking an order relocating its venue to Rivers.
In a ruling on Monday, the three-man panel led by Justice Muazu Pindiga, dismissed the application on the ground that the tribunal had power to sit in Abuja, following security challenges in the state.
The tribunal also held that the composition of the tribunal was not in any way defective and that the President of the Court of Appeal had the power to fix the venue of the tribunal.
Mr. Pindiga added that the issue of accessibility and proximity of the venue for the tribunal cannot be decided without considering the security situation, earlier argued by the governor’s counsel, Emmanuel Ukala, SAN.
The governor had prayed the tribunal to relocate the venue to Rivers, adding that the election was duly conducted in line with Section 285 of the Nigerian constitution.
A governorship candidate, Dakuku Peterside, and his party, the All Progressive Congress (APC) had in April dragged Mr. Wike to court over his victory at the recent governorship election in Rivers.
Joined in the suit, filed by the APC, are the Independent National Electoral Commission and the Peoples Democratic Party.