Why the Supreme Court upheld Wike's election


Wike, Rivers state governor
Wike, Rivers state governor

IN a unanimous decision, the justices of the Supreme Court yesterday upheld the election of Governor Nyesom Wike of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the April 11 Rivers State polls.
Presided over by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Mahmud Mohammed, the apex court also upheld the election of Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State.
The court set side the judgment of the Rivers State governorship election petition tribunal in Abuja and the Court of Appeal, Abuja division which nullified the polls that produced Wike and ordered for a rerun.
The first appeal was filed by Wike challenging the judgement of the tribunal and the court of appeal.
The second appeal was filed by the PDP, while the third was filed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), all challenging the judgment of the tribunal and the court of appeal.
The apex court allowed the three appeals and dismissed the objections raised by the All Progressive Congress and its governorship candidate, Dakuku Peterside.
Earlier, parties in the suit had adopted their briefs. Wike was represented by Emmanuel Ukala (SAN), PDP was represented by Wole Olanipekun (SAN) while Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN) represented INEC. Chief Akin Olujinmi represented Dakuku while Yusuf Ali (SAN) represented APC.
Dakuku and his party, APC had approached the election tribunal seeking to nullify the election on ground of violence.
The tribunal had, however, on October 24, 2015 cancelled the election and ordered a rerun within 90 days. Not satisfied, Wike, PDP and INEC had approached the appellate court to challenge the decision.
The Court of Appeal, Abuja, had on December 16, 2015, dismissed Wike’s appeal and upheld the decision of the tribunal. Unsatisfied yet, Wike, PDP and INEC had approached the Supreme Court seeking to set aside the judgement.
In a lead judgement read by Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, the apex court said it would give reasons for its judgement of February 12.
Amid widespread jubilation in Port Harcourt and its environs, Wike described his victory at the Supreme Court as a victory for democracy.
Shortly after the Supreme Court pronounced Wike as the winner of the April 2015 governorship election in Rivers State, sporadic gunshots, which initially caused pandemonium were fired by presumed supporters of the governor at Chukwu Street off Tombia Extension in the new Government Reservation Area of Port Harcourt. As soon as the gunshots died down, scores of youths in a convoy of cars took to the streets to celebrate the Supreme Court’s verdict.
Scores of Wike’s supporters were seen at  Tombia Extension‎ drinking , blaring loud music exhorting Wike’s virtues, dancing and rejoicing over the Supreme Court decision.
Hundreds of Wike’s supporters organised street parties in the Old Port Harcourt township area to celebrate his eventual defeat of the APC at the apex court.
There was also widespread jubilation at Wike’s   village Eliparawon in Obio Akpor council. Hundreds of his supporters took over the streets in wide celebration.
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