Rivers Guber polls: INEC closes defence at tribunal

Posted by News Express | 30 September 2015 | 2,693 times

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Tuesday formally closed its defence at the Rivers State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in defending its participation in the 2015 Rivers election.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that some of the witnesses brought by the INEC were presiding officers and electoral officers from different polling units in different local government areas in the state.

INEC, who is the 1st respondent, closed its defence after producing a total of 16 witnesses from different local government areas of the state to testify.

NAN reports that the APC and its candidate, Mr. Dakuku Peterside, the petitioners had approached the Justice Suleiman Ambursa led three-man panel seeking for the nullification of the election of Gov. Nyesom Wike, the 2nd respondent.

The petitioners are also challenging the conduct of INEC and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the 3rd respondent at the election.

The petitioners were seeking for the nullification on the ground that the election was marred by irregularities and fraudulent practices.

At the resume hearing, Counsel to the INEC, Mr. Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN) told the tribunal chairman that INEC had exhausted its defense and therefore, it would be closing its defense.

According to Ikpeazu, the witnesses presented by INEC and the documents tendered have proved that the elections were held peacefully in line with the Electoral Act and INEC guidelines.

Ruling on the INEC application for the closure of its defense, the tribunal Chairman adjourned sitting to Wednesday for Wike to open his defense.

Addressing journalists outside the tribunal session, the INEC counsel, Ikpeazu explained that the number of witnesses called by the commission was in line with the allegations made by Dakuku.

“We are satisfied with 16 witnesses who conducted the Rivers State Governorship Election in communities where the petitioner had alleged violence.

“The16 witnesses are enough to prove that the election was held peacefully, contrary to the petitioners’ allegations.

“The witnesses are not called for the fun of it, but for the specific purpose of proving our case.” (NAN)

•Photo shows Gov. Wike

Source: News Express

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