THE Court of Appeal in Lagos, on Tuesday, November 28, dismissed the suit filed by the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Tonye Cole, challenging the victory of Siminalayi Fubara of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in the March 18 River state governorship election.
The APC candidate requested that the appellate court order INEC to declare him the winner.
He had informed the court that Fubara continued to sign documents as the state’s Accountant-General even after the PDP nominated him for governor.
Among others, he claimed that there were anomalies in the election.
The Appeal Court, in a unanimous decision, dismissed his petition.
Nevertheless, the court criticised the tribunal’s decision to reject his appeal on the grounds that his party – the APC – had withdrawn its case against Fubara’s victory.
The appellate court ruled further that Cole could file an appeal despite the APC’s decision to withdraw its case against its candidate’s opponent.
The court also dismissed three separate appeals filed by Lulu Briggs Dumo of the Accord Party, Beatrice Itubo of the Labour Party, and Innocent Ekwu of the Allied People’s Movement.
The court ruled that the appellants could not provide evidence supporting their claims that the Electoral Act was not followed in the election.
In October, the Rivers State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal dismissed Cole’s case contesting Fubara’s election as the Governor of Rivers State.
The tribunal dismissed the petition, saying the APC, who sponsored Cole, had withdrawn its petition against Fubara’s victory.
Dissatisfied with the tribunal’s ruling, the APC candidate challenged the decision at the Appeal Court.
However, the appellate court upheld the tribunal’s decision, which confirmed Fubara’s victory.