THE River State House of Assembly election petition tribunal on Monday, October 26, nullified the election of 20 House of Assembly members in the state.
The four separate panels of the Rivers State national and state assembly elections petitions tribunal nullified the elections of Owaji Ibani, speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly and 19 other seats won by candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the April 11, 2015 elections.
The tribunals upheld the petitions of the All Progressives Congress and its candidates in 20 out of the total 32 constituency elections.
The tribunal, while delivering the judgment in the case of the lawmakers cited cases of irregularities and violence among other electoral malpractices which necessitated the nullification of the lawmakers’ election victory.
In any case, elections of the PDP candidates in 12 constituencies were upheld. They are Okrika, Oyigbo, Etche I, Omuma, Ogu-Bolo, Port Harcourt I and III, ONELGA II, Abua/Odua, Ahoada West, Ahoada East II and Emuoha constituencies.
The tribunal ordered fresh elections to be conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to fill the new vacant seats. In Gokana, Eleme, Obio/Akpor I and II, Eleme, Etche II, Opobo/Nkoro, Akukutoru I and II, Asari Toru – and II, Bonny, Tai, ONELGA I, Degema, Khana Iand II, Port Harcourt II and Ikwerre.
On Saturday, October 24, the tribunal sacked Nyeson Wike as governor of the state and ordered that a rerun should be conducted. Wike has since said he would the judgment.
— Nov 9, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT