INEC Appeals Rivers Tribunal Guber Poll Ruling

wike minister

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has formally filed an appeal challenging the judgment of the Rivers State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, which nullified the April 11 election of governor Nyesom Wike.

At the Court of Appeal, Abuja on Thursday, the electoral body through its counsel, Onyechi Ikpeazu, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, filed a 12-ground appeal dated November 4, 2015.

INEC in its appeal sought an order allowing the appeal, an order setting aside the decision of the tribunal and an order dismissing the petition as lacking in merit.

According to INEC, the justices on the tribunal erred in law in failing to evaluate the evidence of each of the witnesses called by the petitioners before reaching its decision.

“The tribunal was obligated to making findings as to where elections were said to have held on the one part and where they were alleged not to have held on the other part,” INEC contended.

It further stated that the tribunal erred when it resorted to generic declaration like “many instances”, when the justices were obligated to specify where the evidence elicited under cross-examination enhanced the case of the first and second respondents.



    It further stated that the tribunal erred when it used the testimonies of witnesses who were not at polling stations to nullify the election.

    INEC stated that the tribunal disregarded Section 49 (1) and (2) of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended, which is a statutory provision binding on it, noting that the decision of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal on the law was duly cited to the tribunal, but it ignored same.

    INEC also stated that there was no due evaluation of the 56 witnesses called by the petitioners, pointing out that the witnesses who testified did not link their testimonies to the documents tendered.

    The electoral body added that the tribunal erred in law when it failed to indicate that the petitioners failed to prove their case on a polling unit by polling unit basis as required by law and also failed to demonstrate why it rejected the evidences proffered  by witnesses of INEC, PDP and governor Wike.

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