Rivers 2019 governorship poll credible – PDP Campaign DG tells Tribunal

FILE: Voters on queue during election in Nigeria

Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt

The Director General of the Rivers State PDP Campaign Council, Ambassador Desmond Akawor, has declared that the 2019 Governorship Election held throughout Rivers State with Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike emerging victorious.

Testifying at the Rivers State Governorship Election Tribunal on Wednesday as the last witness for Governor Wike in a petition filed by the defeated Action Democratic Party (ADP), Mr Victor Fingesi, the Director General said that the PDP candidate won the election by the lawful votes cast on March 9, 2019.

The Former Nigerian Ambassador to South Korea told the Rivers State Governorship Election Tribunal he received his party’s (PDP) duplicate certified copies of election result sheets for Units , Wards and the 23 Local Government Areas.

Responding to a question by Counsel to the defeated ADP governorship candidate on why the State Government set up a Judicial Commission of Inquiry on the 2019 Elections, Akawor said that Commission of Inquiry was established to find out what happened at the Collation Centres, because voting took place peacefully at all polling units.

However, after closing his case on cross examination of DW31 (Akawor), the ADP counsel sought to tender an application which is a certified copy of the Tide Newspaper of April 29 in respect of the commission of Inquiry.

Counsel for the Governor Wike, Emmanuel Ukala, (SAN) urged the court to refuse the application, arguing that the Petitioner voluntarily closed his matter on July 16 with 23 witnesses.

Ukala noted that in accordance with the rules of the tribunal , each witness was cross examined within the time given, adding that conduct of proceedings is guided by truth and not by sympathy.

Ruling on the application after hearing arguments from the counsels, Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Orjiako, stated that “this application in our view cannot be allowed, the implication being that it should have been tendered within the time allocated to him, therefore the application is overruled and refused”.

Justice Orjiako adjourned the matter till August 22 for further cross examination.

In an interview, Emmanuel Ukala, (SAN), counsel for Governor Nyesom Wike, explained that the ADP application was refused as a result of improper filing.

He said, “The 2nd respondent (Governor Wike) called all together twenty (20) witnesses and we closed our case. So it is left to the PDP if they wish to call any other witness. They may call and thereafter we will all address the court.”