Mimiko Governor condemns Tribunal judgement in Rivers

It established that the April 11 election in the state was marred by irregularities.

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The Ondo state Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko has faulted the Rivers State Election Petitions Tribunal for invalidating the election of Nyesom Wike as the Governor of the state.

The tribunal had, on Saturday, ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission to conduct fresh election in the state in the next three months.

It established that the April 11 election in the state was marred by irregularities.

Speaking to journalists in Akure on Monday, Mimiko stated that the judgement was too hasty, coming less than 48 hours that both parties submitted their written addresses.

He said, “Our mindset is that tribunal judgment can go either way, but the Rivers own is particularly embarrassing. We all know the circumstances surrounding the Rivers State tribunal. You recall that for unjustifiable cause, that tribunal was not allowed to sit in Port Harcourt, it was taken to Abuja. Somewhere along the line, the chairman of the Tribunal got changed.

“Now, we challenge the jurisdiction of the Tribunal and it has gotten to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court will give judgment in the next few days. The Abuja Tribunal continues to sit. On Thursday, nine written addresses were adopted.

“The adoption of the written addresses were done on 1pm on Thursday. In the course of that trial, the litigants – both plaintiffs and defendants – called more than 100 witnesses, documents that were presented as exhibits were more than 1,000. We are talking of more than 100 witnesses and 1,000 documents were admitted, we are talking of nine written addresses. None of the addresses were less than 40 pages.

“The adoption was on Thursday, around 1pm and Friday around 2pm, barely under 24 hours, notice had been issued that judgment was ready, that judgment was given on Saturday. This sequence and turn of event assault the sensibilities of lawyers that really believe in justice.”

“Remember the issue of jurisdiction, which is fundamental, the Supreme Court is bound to give judgment this week. The question is why could the tribunal not have waited? Wait for the Supreme Court judgment, which would naturally impact on its own outcome. Let the Supreme Court rule that they do not have jurisdiction ab initio.”

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