Rivers state: Tribunal Grants APC’s Application to Inspect Election Materials

Justice Muazu Abdulkadir Pindiga of the Rivers State Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja has granted the requests of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its gubernatorial candidate in the April 11, 2015 governorship election in the state, Hon. Dakuku Peterside, to inspect election materials used for the election.

The APC and its candidate had through their counsel, Chief Akinlolu Olujinmi (SAN), sought the leave of the court to order the inspection of electoral materials used for the governorship election in the state.
In the motion ex parte dated June 3 and filed on June 8, counsel to APC and Dakuku, the lawyer prayed the court for an order allowing the inspection of the electoral materials related to the conduct of the gubernatorial election in the state.

He begged the court to order the inspections of Card Readers Machines and records of electoral materials used in all the polling units in the state.
In a short ruling, the tribunal granted the requests of the applicants.

It however, asked the applicants to put the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the state governor, Nyesom Wike on notice on the other request to conduct a forensic analysis on the computers, and computer servers used for the election.

The APC in the state and Peterside had dragged INEC, PDP and Wike before the tribunal, challenging PDP’s victory in the April 11 election in the state.
INEC declared Wike as the winner of the election.

Last month, the tribunal ordered that the state governor should be served with the court processes through substituted means.
Counsel to the APC had told the tribunal that he was unable to serve the governor.

At the inaugural sitting of the tribunal, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) who represented the APC, moved a motion ex-parte praying the tribunal to grant an order for substituted service on the governor-elect.
He claimed that the court bailiff had on several occasions visited the house of Wike to effect service on him but was on all the occasions turned back at the gate by agents of Wike upon discovery that he is a court bailiff.

In an affidavit deposed to by the bailiff and tendered by the petitioner, the tribunal was told that neither the governor nor his agent was ready to receive any court process from anybody.
He urged the tribunal to allow him paste the process on the wall of Wike’s house in the interest of justice and to avoid unnecessary delay of proceedings.

In a short ruling, Justice Pindiga granted the prayer of the petitioner and ordered that substituted service be effected on Wike either by pasting the court process on his gate or at the office of the PDP secretariat in Rivers State or in Abuja.
The next adjourned date will be communicated to parties in the matter.

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