Wednesday, January 27, 2016 8:37 pm
*Apex Court also upheld the election of Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun state and Dave Umahi of Ebonyi state
The Supreme Court gave a most unexpected verdict Wednesday: confirming the election of the Peoples Democratic Party candidate in the April 2015 Governorship Election, Nyesom Wike.
The justice ruled today that he was duly elected and that they would provide the reasons for their verdict on 12 February.
Mr. Wike had lost at both the Election Tribunal and the Appeal Court.
Both the lower courts ordered a fresh governorship election and preparations were apace in the state, with politicians already doing what they know best, crossing carpets, with many dumping the Wike ticket, and throwing support for the APC candidate, Dakuku Peterside.
But in its verdict , the Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the election.
It also upheld the election of Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun state and Dave Umahi as Ebonyi State.
The court in three unanimous judgments in the appeals filed by Wike, his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), set aside the concurrent judgments of the Rivers State governorship election tribunal and the Court of Appeal, Abuja.
The appeals were all heard by a seven-man panel headed by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed.
Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, who read the lead judgments in the three appeals, upheld the return of Wike as winner of the election.
“I find and hold that this appeal is meritorious and it is allowed. The judgment of the lower court delivered on the 16th of November 2015 and the judgment of the tribunal delivered on 24th October 2015 are hereby set aside.
Justice Kekere-Ekun said she will provide reason for her decision on February 12.
Justices Mohammed, Ibrahim Mohammed, Sylvester Ngwuta, Kumai Akaahs and Amiru Sanusi, who were members of the panel agreed with Kekere-Ekun’s lead judgment.
The apex court also dismissed the appeal by the PDP governorship candidate in Ogun State, Adegboyega Isiaka.
Isiaka had challenged the judgments of the Court of Appeal and Ogun State governorship election tribunal, which both upheld the election of Ibikunle Amosun as governor of Ogun State.
Justice Akaahs, who read the lead judgment, held that the appeal lacked merit and dismissed it.
The court equally dismissed the appeal filed by governorship candidate of Labour Party in Ebonyi State, Edward Nkwegu.
Justice Chima Centus Nweze, who read the lead judgment, held that the preliminary objection raised by Umahi succeeds in part.
He resolved the two issues on the main appeal against the appellant.
“No merit in this appeal. Umahi is the duly elected governor of Ebonyi State. Reasons will be given on Friday, January 29,” Justice Nweze held.
Additional report from The Nation