Rivers Tribunal: Wike Loses Appeal on JurisdictionFeatured, Latest News, News Tuesday, October 27th, 2015
BALTIMORE, MD (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that the Rivers State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal has territorial jurisdiction to sit in Abuja following perceived security challenges in the state.
The Rivers State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja had dismissed a preliminary objection raised by Governor Wike on the territorial jurisdiction of the tribunal and the failure of the President of the Court of Appeal to consult the Rivers State Chief Judge and President of the Customary Court of Appeal before constituting the tribunals.
In a lead judgment read by Justice Sanusi, the Supreme Court held that the President of the Court of Appeal had the powers to transfer the sitting of the tribunal to Abuja to safeguard the lives of the judges and their staff.
The Supreme Court also ruled that in view of the fact that Rivers State had no Chief Judge or Customary Court of Appeal, there was no possibility for the President to have consulted them before the constitution of the tribunals.
The court unanimously held that based on the doctrine of necessity, the President Court of Appeal acted in the right direction.
Meanwhile, the Rivers State Chapter of All Progressives Congress, APC, has lauded the Nigerian Supreme Court on its decision to throw out the Wike’s appeal on Jurisdiction.
“As a party, the APC is grateful that all seven eminent jurists of the Supreme Court unanimously agreed that there was sufficient violence before; during and after the elections to justify the relocation of the tribunal to Abuja and that the relocation of the tribunal to Abuja was to safeguard the lives of the tribunal chairman, members and witnesses.
“The apex court likened the violence in Rivers to that of a theatre of war such as is prevailing in the North-East”, the party said in a statement signed by its Publicity Secretary, Chris Finebone in Port Harcourt on monday.
The APC noted with delight that Justice Okoro from Akwa Ibom state not only concurred but went further to say that Rivers State was a theatre of war and as such protection of life and limbs of members of the panel and interested parties was paramount and thus relocation of the panel imperative.
The APC also commended the eminent Supreme Court Justices for once again re-affirming that they always dispense justice without fear or favour despite the frequent boasts by Nyesom Wike that he has all the Justices of the Supreme Court in his pocket, whatever that means.
The significance of all seven eminent Justices of the Supreme Court speaking in one voice in today’s judgment according to the APC, is that the faith, hope and confidence of the ordinary Nigerian to get justice is assured in the Nigerian judicial system.
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