Monday, January 25, 2016 12:11 pm
Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
Legal fireworks will start at the Supreme Court on Wednesday 27 January. This is when the Apex Court will start hearing on the appeal brought by Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, challenging the judgment of the Court of Appeal which upheld the nullification of his election by the Election Petition Tribunal.
Governor Wike has filed 20 grounds of appeal to the Supreme Court, alleging that the election tribunal relied on hearsay and legally inadmissible evidence for its judgment. He argued further that the tribunal breached and violated his constitutional right of fair hearing.
The Governor wants the Supreme Court to hold that the tribunal wrongly refused to follow the decision in Agbaje versus Ambode’s case, which stated that the use or non-use of card reader cannot be a ground for questioning or nullifying an election.
Governor Wike also wants the apex court to hold that the findings and conclusions of the Election tribunal are perverse and not supported by any legally admissible evidence on record.
All the three Senators under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party,PDP, from Rivers State lost their seats at both the Election Tribunal and Appeal Courts and a rerun election was ordered within 90 days.
Also the Appeal Court sitting in Abuja had, in its various judgements, ordered a re-run in 22 Assembly constituencies out of the 32 that make up the Rivers State House of Assembly.
The PDP has maintained nine seats while the APC is left with just a seat, leaving the Assembly with a total of 10 legitimate members including the Speaker.
The law requires only 11 out the 32-member house to be able to form a quorum necessary for any legislative seating. But so far, only 10 members left in the House can not form a quorum and therefore by law will not continue with their legislative functions at least for now.
House of Assembly has adjourned indefinitely, obviously in anticipation of the results of the rerun of elections as ordered by the Court of Appeal.