The Court of Appeal, Abuja, on Wednesday upheld the verdict of the Rivers State governorship election petition tribunal which nullified the victory of Nyesom Wike in the April 11 governorship election in the state.
The court’s three-man panel led by Justice M.B. Dongban-Mensem, ruled that Wike’s election did not conform with the Electoral Act.
The panel ordered a fresh election within 90 days and asked the governor to vacate the seat immediately.
In October, the tribunal had held that Wike was not duly elected governor of Rivers state.
But Wike appealed against the judgment, insisting that he was duly elected governor of the state.
He asked the appellate court to set aside the judgment of the tribunal, arguing that the lower court failed to consider the evidence – that a proper election took place in Rivers state on April 11 – tendered before it.
Wike had previously gone to the supreme court to challenge the jurisdiction of the tribunal, which sacked him.
His main argument at the apex court was that the tribunal should have sat in Rivers state and not in Abuja.
But the supreme court dismissed his suit for lacking in merit, ruling that the tribunal – owing to security reasons – was right to have relocated to Abuja to sit in judgment on the petition of Dakuku Peterside, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the April 11 governorship election in Rivers state.