S/Court strikes out 2 suits seeking disqualification of Wike

Governor Nyesom Wike

The Supreme Court on Tuesday struck out the two cases seeking an order disqualifying Gov. Nyesom Wike of Rivers from contesting the 2019 governorship election in the state.

In the Judgement, Justice Paul Galinje who struck out the appeals declared that amendment of the notice of appeal was against the electoral act and is therefore illegal and that the notice of appeal is incompetent.

The court had on July 2, 2019 granted the prayer of Mr Elvis Chinda for abridgement of time in the suit seeking an order disqualifying Gov. Wike from contesting the 2019 governorship election in the state.

NAN reports that on March 8, Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja dismissed a pre-election suit brought by Chinda, a PDP member in Rivers.

Chinda alleged that the birthday certificate governor Wike attached to the Form CF001 he submitted to INEC on Nov. 2, 2018, for clearance to participate in the 2019 general election, was forged.

The trial court dismissed the case for being a pre- election matter as the reliefs sought by the plaintiff was to disqualify Wike from contesting an election

Justice Ekwo maintained that being a pre-election matter, the suit was status barred because it was not commenced within the 14 days stipulated by law.

The judge opined that the plaintiff’s position that the cause of action arose on Nov.13, 2018 when he obtained a Certified True Copy of the INEC document containing the forged birth certificate, was strange to him.

Dissatisfied, Chinda approached the Court of Appeal, Abuja presided over by Justice Stephen Adah where Wike had in a preliminary objection urged the court to strike out the case for want of jurisdiction.

Gov. Wike also prayed the court not to grant Chinda leave to amend his brief, having wrongly titled the brief: “’In the Federal High court’, instead of writing, `In the Court of Appeal’.

However, Wike approached the Supreme Court, in his motion saying the Appeal court erred in granting the leave sought by Chinda.