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Court dismisses suit to stop Rivers collation

Court dismisses suit to stop Rivers collation

A Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja, has dismissed the suit seeking to stop the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from collating results of the governorship election held in Rivers State on 9th March 2019.

Dismissing the suit in a judgment, Justice Inyang Ekwo upheld the preliminary objection filed by the People’s Democratic Party to challenge the jurisdiction of the court to hear the case.

Justice Inyang Ekwo in a Judgment held that the court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the matter.

He held that the suit was an attempt by the plaintiffs to make the court constitute itself into an election petition tribunal.

The plaintiffs who filed the suit marked FHC/ ABJ/CS/303/2019, were AAC, its governorship candidate in Rivers State, Biokpomabo Awara, and Ben-Gurion John Peter.

The respondents to the suit which was filed on March 18, 2019 were the Independent National Electoral Commission and the People’s Democratic Party.

The plaintiffs, had in their suit, challenged INEC’s decision to resume the announcement of the results of the election which it had earlier said was marred by violence and irregularities.

They had contended that the credibility of the election had been impugned by violence, disruption and appointment of PDP’s members by INEC in the conduct of the election, therefore, the electoral body ought to conduct a fresh election.

Delivering Judgement, Justice Inyang Ekwo, held that once an election is held the Federal high court or the state high court cannot assume or exercise jurisdiction over such matters, as it is the duty of the election petition tribunal.

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