Nigeria News

Rivers state election tribunal: Wike, PDP lawyers deliberately twisting facts

Our attention has been drawn to the deliberate attempt by Governor Nyesom Wike and lawyers of the People Democratic Party, PDP, especially Barrister Osima Ginah to deceive Rivers people by twisting facts and the law, just to create an impression that the Court of Appeal has made any pronouncements concerning the merit of Judgement of the Election Petition Tribunal that nullified the purported election of Barr. Nyesom Wike for substantial non-compliance.

You would recall that during the hearing of the Election Petition brought by Dr. Dakuku Peterside against Chief Nyesom Wike, but before the commencement of hearing, the Election Petition Tribunal, based on a Motion brought by Barr. Nyesom Wike and the PDP struck out paragraphs of the Petitioners’ petition IN WHICH CRIMINAL ALLEGATIONS WERE MADE AGAINST PERSONS WHO THEMSELVES WERE NOT JOINED AS PARTIES TO THE PETITION. This according to the court was because those who were accused of criminal offences have no opportunity of defending themselves at the Tribunal in accordance with the principle of fair hearing, since they were not party. The Petitioners were not pleased with striking out of the said paragraphs of their petition and so filed an appeal before the Court of Appeal, which the Court dismissed today.

It is important to note that neither the decision of the Tribunal striking out those paragraphs nor the decision of the Court of Appeal had anything to do with the undisputed testimonies of the Military, the Police or DSS who testified at the Tribunal as to the level of violence that took place in Rivers State on the day of that sham election. The decision of Court of Appeal did not order the striking out of the evidence of any witness nor did it discredit any witness, as those were not the issues before the Court of Appeal. It is worth of mention also, that because the Tribunal had struck out those paragraphs in which criminal allegations were made against persons not joined as party in petition, the said paragraphs were not and did not form part of the pleading or case considered by the Tribunal in arriving at its decision.

The press statement issued by the PDP and its lawyers in this regard is merely a subterfuge intended to give false hope to its members and deceive Rivers people. We urge Rivers people to disregard any such unfounded insinuations that the Ruling of the Court of Appeal delivered today has any bearing whatsoever on the merit of the Judgement of the Tribunal nullifying Barr. Wike’s purported election.

We implore Rivers people to remain focused and resolute as their right to vote their own Governor will soon be restored to them.

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