Rivers Governorship Election Tribunal: Wike give Awara technical knockout for Supreme Court
Nigeria highest court don confam say true true na Nyesom Wike win di March 2019 governorship election for Rivers State.
Supreme Court uphold di appeal wey Govnor Wike, file to challenge di decision of Court of Appeal wey bin put back di petition wey im main challenger, Biokpomabo Awara, di candidate of African Action Congress, AAC bin file.
Di panel of three Justices wey Justice Inyang Okoro lead say Biokpomabo Awara petition na exercise wey go die in di end.
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Di highest court come rule say hearing of petition wey dem don abandon no amount to any purpose, but just dey for book.
Afta di judgment, lawyer to Wike, Ferdinand Orbih SAN, say di two judgments na landmark pronouncements wey Supreme Court give.
"Across all di tribunals for di konri, di issue dey always be wetin be di relationship between di power of tribunal to dismiss petition wey dey abandoned and di constitutional provision wey say interlocutory matters wey concern jurisdiction must wait until di final judgment."
Orbih add say by di two judgments, di mata wey AAC for Rivers State file don collect di final nail for im coffin, and e dey dead buried forever.
Lawyer to AAC, Henry Bello, say di two judgments wey di Supreme Court deliver cover six appeals.
Bello say "di first judgment address abuse of process. For di tribunal for Port Harcourt, appeal bin dey against a decision of di tribunal and at di same time, di same tin for dat appeal bin dey seek clarification for anoda application and our argument for di tribunal be say na abuse of court process so make dem dismiss am."
"Di tribunal agree wit us come dismiss am but dem go Court of Appeal wey come disagree wit di tribunal say no be abuse of court process. Today di Supreme Court don uphold our position say na abuse of court process." Bello add.
Bello say di Supreme Court on 15 October for anoda appeal uphold im appointment as di lawyer to AAC. So based on dat judgement, lawyer to Awara, Festus no fit file processes for am again, but di lawyer no gree hear come continue to dey file processes even afta im don take over to dey conduct proceedings according to Order 9 rule 35 of di Federal High Court rules wey dey applicable by paragraph 52 of di first schedule to di Electoral Act.
"And so we contend say e dey wrong. So di Supreme Court by dis judgement now don set aside all those processes wey dem file on my behalf come say all those processes dem file na abuse of court process."
"Di Supreme Court today don agree say all those processes dey null and void so no application bin dey for issuance of pre-hearing notice."
"Di Supreme Court today too don hold say you must dey diligent for di prosecution of your election petition, if you no dey diligent, di tribunal get right to dismiss am.
"Dis judgment don set serious precedence wey go assist us for all election petitions for dis country moving forward," Na so Henry Bello tok.
Today di Supreme Court don tok say wen you don abandon any issue, you no need to wait until di final judgment before di tribunal fit pronounce am say you dey dismiss di petition because e dey abandoned" Orbih tok.
Awara bin go Appeal court to ask make di Rivers Governorship Tribunal hear im petition against di election of Governor Wike, after di Tribunal dismiss im petition.
Di Tribunal for July, 2019 bin don dismiss di AAC petition becos dem say di petition bin dey technically abandoned sake of say AAC and im Candidate fail to meet some key procedural requirements as to apply for pre-hearing information, based on paragraph four of di first schedule of di electoral act.
Dis appeal come make di Governorship Tribunal hear di AAC Candidate Awara appeal but for 5 October, 2019, di tribunal uphold di election of Governor Wike come tell Awara to pay cost of three hundred thousand naira (N300,000) each to Govnor Wike, di kontri main opposition party - People Democratic Party (PDP) and Nigeria election office - Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).