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Thursday, 9 July 2015

Court nullifies Rivers LGA Elections

Justice Lambo Akambi of the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital has nullified the process which elected the Local Government Council chairmen in the state for flouting order of court.

 Akambi in his ruling on Thursday accused the Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi-led past government of the state of lawlessness, deliberate disobedience to the court and announced the setting aside of the May 23rd 2015 elections which produced them.

Prof. Augustine Ahiuzu-led State Independent Electorial Commission (RSIEC), the government body that conducted the elections into the chairmanship positions in 22 of the 23 LGAs in the state and their councilors, had during the process for the polls applied for the release of the voter register in the state, by Gecilia Khan-led state Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), for the elections.

 The state PDP members approached the court for an order of injunction to stop INEC from releasing the register, alleging that the process was impromptu and therefore illegal.

 They sued state government, RSIEC, APC among others.

 At the hearing earlier, declined jurisdiction on the matter, the respondent counsel, Beluolisa Nwofor, A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), inform the court that they had filed an appeal in respect of the case, urging the court to step down further hearing pending the decision of the higher court.

The court ordered parties to maintain status quo and leave the rest, and adjourned the matter sine die.
 The process was however conducted May 23, PDP boycotted the process, the APC produced all the 22 chairmanship and almost all the councillorship positions contested for.

 The respondents at the end of the last administration withdrew the Appeal and closed the case.
 Akambi yesterday resurrected the matter and delivered his judgment, nullifying the entire process and set aside the election.

Shortly after the judgment, State APC members and the Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON), in a news briefing in Port Harcourt, criticized the judgment, describing it as biased, kangaroo, lacks every sense of justice, and above all fair hearing.

Delivering the judgment on Thursday Akambi said, "The respondent (APC) was aware of the order that they should leave the rest. The respondent committed contempt of court for going ahead to hold the elections while the suit is pending.

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