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Politics Rivers: 9 Good Reasons Why Supreme Court Reversed Wike's Sack


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ProfRem

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The Supreme Court, yesterday, gave reasons it reversed the concurrent judgments of both the Court of Appeal and the Rivers State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal, which nullified the election of Governor Nyesom Wike.

The apex court, in the lead judgement delivered by Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, maintained that Wike who contested the April 11, 2015 Rivers State governorship election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, was denied fair hearing by the lower courts.

Here are the 9 good reasons why Supreme Court's judgement favoured Nyesom Wike of the Peoples Democratic Party in Rivers State...

- The Lower courts “improperly evaluated” the case made against Wike’s election by the All Progressives Congress, APC, and its Governorship Candidate, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, which it termed undue reliance of appeal court and election tribunal on card reader reports.

- Reports from the Smart Card Reader Machines the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, used for the conduct of the 2015 general elections, cannot override the Voters’ Register, which it said has firm root in the Electoral Act, 2010, as amended.

- Section 49 (1) and (2) of the Electoral Act which provide for manual accreditation of voters, is a stamp and remain a vital part of our electoral law.

- The Supreme Court said it was not enough for anyone that is challenging the outcome of an election on the premise that there was over-voting, to merely tender and rely on card reader reports, without linking same with the actual voters’ register.

- It said the card reader was only a technological innovation that was introduced to enhance the accreditation of voters for an election, with a view to identifying the actual owner of the voters’ card.

- The apex court dismissed contention by APC and Peterside that the card reader report from Rivers State, being a certified public document, represented the true position of what happened during the governorship election.

- The court placed reliance on its recent decision in Shinkafi vs Yari and Okereke vs Umahi and held that, “in order to prove non-accreditation and over-voting, the 1st and 2nd respondents were bound to rely on the voters register in respect of all the affected local governments. The voters register tendered were only in respect of 11 out of 23 local governments. They were tendered from the bar; no attempt was made to link them with exhibit A-9. It is also noteworthy that forms EC8A were tendered in respect of only 16 out of 23 local government areas.

- the voters’ register could not be jettisoned in the exercise

- tendering of the exhibits from the bar, without their makers being called, amounted to “documentary hearsay”, saying the Rivers State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal and the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal were wrong in placing reliance on them.
 

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