The Supreme Court has affirmed the election of Siminalaye Fubara as governor of Rivers State.
The court, on Thursday in a unanimous decision by a five-member panel led by Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, on Thursday, dismissed as lacking in merit, an appeal the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Mr. Tonye Cole, filed to challenge the outcome of the governorship election that held in the state on March 18, 2023.
In a lead judgment delivered by Justice Ibrahim Saulawa, the apex court said it found no reason to dislodge the concurrent verdicts of the Court of Appeal and the Rivers State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal, which upheld Fubara’s victory at the poll.
The court held that Cole did not establish that the election was not conducted in compliance with the Electoral Act, 2022 provisions.
The APC pulled out from the case against governor Fubara of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, while it was being heard by the Rivers State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal.
Despite the position of the party not to challenge the declaration of Fubara as winner of the gubernatorial contest by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Mr. Cole, vowed to prosecute his petition to its logical conclusion.
INEC had declared that Fubara of the PDP polled a total of 302,614 votes to defeat his closets rival, Cole of the APC who got a total of 95,274 votes.
Not satisfied with the outcome of the election, Cole approached the tribunal to challenge it.
The appellant, among other things, alleged that the Rivers State governorship poll was marred by corrupt practices, insisting that it was not conducted in substantial compliance with provisions of the Electoral Act 2022.
Cole alleged that Fubara did not validly resign his previous position as required by the law, before the election held. (Guardian)