Tribunal Upholds Wike’s Electoral Victory, Dismisses LP’s Petition

P/Harcourt – The Rivers State Governorship Election Tribunal has dismissed the petition filed by the Labour Party candidate in the last governorship election in the state, Chief Isaac Wonwu, against the victory of Governor Nyesom Wike.Chairman of the tribunal, Justice O.K. Kaigama, dismissed the petition following a motion for withdrawal moved by counsel to Chief Wonwu, Uche Ulemene.Justice Kaigama also stated that the Labour Party governorship candidate withdrew the petition on his own volition and that there were no illegal agreements that necessitated the withdrawal.Counsel to Chief Wonwu sought the leave of the tribunal to withdraw the petition and strike out same.He informed the tribunal that his application to withdraw the petition was accompanied by a notice of consent to withdraw, marked as Exhibit A.He added that also annexed was an affidavit against illegal terms of withdrawal.Counsel to Governor Wike, M.S. Agwu, said they were not opposed to the withdrawal.He announced that he filed an affidavit against any illegal terms of withdrawal, noting that the petitioner withdrew the petition on his own volition.The tribunal dismissed the Labour Party petition, EPT/RS/GOV/O4/2019, saying the Labour Party governorship candidate stated that he withdrew the petition in the interest of Rivers State.Counsel to INEC, Abdulhakeem Mustapha (SAN), informed the tribunal that INEC filed a preliminary objection to the petition.He stated that INEC was not opposing the application for withdrawal.He announced that INEC filed a preliminary objection because the petition lacked merit. He urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition.Governor Wike emerged victorious at the 2019 governorship election where he polled 886,264 votes. The AAC candidate scored 173,859 votes to emerge second.