Rivers Guber Election Tribunal: ‘Halt Plot To Set Up New Panel’, Federal High Court Orders Appeal Court President

The Oasis Reporters

September 10, 2019

Election Petition Tribunal sitting, in progress.

A Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt has ordered the President of the Court of Appeal, the Rivers State Governorship Election Tribunal, Defeated Governorship Candidate of African Action Congress ( AAC), Biokpomabo Awara, INEC and others not to take any steps that will render nugatory the outcome of an originating summons filed before it.

Ruling on Suit Number: FHC/PH/CS/203/2019 filed by the African Action Congress ( AAC) against the President of the Court of Appeal, the Rivers State Election Tribunal, Defeated Governorship Candidate of African Action Congress ( AAC), Biokpomabo Awara, INEC and others for the interpretation of Section 233 (1), Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), Justice J.K Omotosho declared: “That all parties in this suit are hereby ordered not to make any act or take any steps that will render this suit nugatory or overreach the outcome of the originating summons.

“That the originating summons is hereby adjourned till the 13th day of September, 2019 for hearing.

“That if this matter is not ripe for hearing on the 13th of September, 2019 as a result of the failure on the part of the plaintiff, this court will not hesitate to strike out this suit as time is of the essence in post election matters”.

The court granted leave that the suit filed by the AAC be heard during the 2019 vacation period of the Court.

Justice Omotosho ordered: “That the originating summons shall be served on all parties within 24hours from today.

“That the respondents shall respond to the originating summons within 72hours of Service of same on them.

“That the plaintiff shall reply to the response of the defendants within 24hours of being served with the response of the defendants.

“That the Rivers State Governorship Election Tribunal that sat on the 7th of September 2019 is not precluded from continuing its proceedings “.

Justice Omotosho further ordered that: “That the pending suit shall not stop the said Rivers State Governorship Election Tribunal that sat on the 7th of September 2019 from continuing its proceedings “.

The defendants in the suit include: the President of the Court of Appeal, the Rivers State Governorship Election Tribunal, Defeated Governorship Candidate of African Action Congress ( AAC), Biokpomabo Awara, INEC , Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike and the PDP.

The court made the ruling upon reading the nine paragraphs affidavit in support of motion ex-parte sworn to by Wisdom Thompson and after hearing Henry Bello (Esq) , counsel to the AAC.

The AAC in its originating summons is seeking a declaration that by virtue of the provisions of Section 233 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), the President of the Court of Appeal is not conferred with the powers to review the judgments of the Court of Appeal.

The AAC is also seeking an order of perpetual injunction restraining the President of Court of Appeal from reviewing the judgments of the Court of Appeal by setting up a new panel based on a letter by the defeated Governorship Candidate of AAC in Rivers State, Engr Biokpomabo Awara.

The AAC further sought an order of the Federal High Court setting aside any administrative directive of the President of the Court of Appeal for the setting up of the said new Panel of the Rivers State Governorship Election Tribunal.

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Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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