Wike loses bid to stop Peterside’s election documents inspection

Posted by admin | 9 years ago | 3,757 times

The Rivers State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal, Sitting in Abuja on Wednesday, struck out an application by Governor Nyesom Wike of the Peoples Democratic Party, seeking stay of execution of an order permitting the All Progressives Congress and its candidate in the April 11, 2015 election, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, to inspect the documents used for the conduct of the poll.

Dakuku and the APC had filed their petition before the Justice Mua’zu Pindiga-led tribunal to challenge the Independent National Electoral Commission’s declaration of Wike, candidate of the PDP, as the winner of the April 11 poll, which the petitioners contended was marred by electoral fraud and irregularities.

Meanwhile, the Justice Mu’azu Pindiga-led tribunal also in a separate ruling on Wednesday, dismissed an application by Dakuku and the APC, seeking an order directing the Independent National Electoral Commission to transfer the electoral materials from Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital, to Abuja for easy inspection.

The petitioners also lost another application seeking an order of the tribunal directing that all notices of preliminary objection already filed and intended to be filed by the respondents should only be allowed to be raised in their final written addresses after the hearing of the petition.

In refusing the petitioners’ application, Justice Pindiga held that the application had been overtaken by events since some of such notices of preliminary objection had already been heard.

In all, the tribunal on Tuesday delivered five rulings on separate interlocutory applications filed by parties to the petition. None of the applications was granted by the tribunal.

The rest of the applications which the tribunal refused to grant on Wednesday included the one by the INEC, seeking an order striking out the reply of the petitioners to its own response to the petition.

The other motion was by Wike asking the Justice Pindiga-led tribunal to strike out the witness statements on oath of the respondents and the other by Wike.

The tribunal held that the two applications by INEC and Wike would be entertained during hearing of the main petition.

Wike, had through his counsel, Mr. Emmanuel Ukala (SAN), predicated his application for stay of execution of the order of inspection of electoral materials on the grounds that he had appealed against the June 11, 2015 ruling in which the order was made.

In striking out Wike’s application on Wednesday, the tribunal held that the application was deemed abandoned since his lawyer, Ukala, chose to “dilly dally” when given the opportunity to move it on Monday.

“The motion is deemed abandoned. He (Ukala) preferred to dilly dally with the case. It is our considered view that in the circumstance, the motion will not be determined on merit and same is hereby struck out,” Justice Pindiga ruled.

In dismissing the petitioners’ application filed by their counsel, Chief Akin Olujimi (SAN), seeking order directing INEC to move the electoral materials from Port Harcourt to Abuja, the tribunal ruled that granting the prayer would amount to varying the ruling of June 11, 2015, when there was no application for such variation before the tribunal.

The tribunal added that the provisions of section 151 of the Electoral Act, Order 25, Rule 8 of the Federal High Court Civil Procedure Rules , paragraph 41(1)of the 1st Schedule to the Electoral Act and section 36 of the Constitution cited by Wike and APC’s lawyer were not applicable to their application.

“This application is considered at large and it is hereby dismissed,” Justice Pindiga ruled.

The tribunal adjourned till August 24 for hearing of another application by Wike.


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