Wike asks tribunal to deny APC access to election materials

Posted by News Express | 24 June 2015 | 3,023 times

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Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has opposed request by the All Progressives Congress, (APC) and its governorship candidate in the state, Mr. Dakuku Peterside, to be allowed to inspect the electoral materials that were used for the April 11 governorship poll in the state.

Wike, through a counter motion he filed before the Rivers State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal currently sitting in Abuja, maintained that allowing the petitioners to have access to the sensitive materials could expose citizens of the state to immense danger.

He begged the tribunal not to allow the petitioners to go near to any of the Smart Card Reader Machines that were deployed to River State by the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), for the purpose of the April 11 governorship election in the state, or have access to the voters’ register in a manner that would allow them to make copies and store their contents electronically.

He argued that allowing the petitioners to do so could compromise the secrecy of the ballot.

It was his contention that it could pose security concerns as the materials sought to be inspected by the petitioners contained “highly sensitive security information containing the biometric data of all registered voters in Nigeria.”

Consequently, Wike through his lead counsel, Mr. Emmanuel Ukala, SAN, urged the tribunal to set aside the ex- parte order for the inspection of the electoral materials, particularly the voters’ register and the card reader machines.

His counter-motion against the APC and Peterside was dated June 16, 2015.

It will be recalled that the APC and Peterside had on May 3, gone before the tribunal to challenge the outcome of the governorship election that which was declared in favour of Wike of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Joined as respondents in the petition were INEC, Wike and the PDP.

Aside APC and Peterside, four other governorship aspirants in the state that also went before the tribunal to challenge the declaration of Governor Wike as the winner of the election are Mr. Charles Harry of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Tonye Princewill of the Labour Party , Kemka Elenwo of KOWA Party and Minaibim Harry of the Social Democratic Party.

They are separately praying the tribunal to nullify Wike’s victory on the premise that the election was not only fraught with manifest irregularities, but was conducted with total disregard to relevant provisions of the Electoral Act.

The Justice Muazu Pindiga-led tribunal had on June 11, 2015 granted an ex parte order permitting the petitioners to personally or through their lawyers or forensic experts inspect the electoral materials used for the poll.

Adapted from Vanguard. Photo shows Wike.

Source: News Express

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