The supreme court has dismissed the suit of Nyesom Wike, Rivers state governor, who challenged the jurisdiction of the Rivers governorship election petition tribunal to hear a petition by Dakuku Peterside of All Progressives Congress (APC).
Wike had argued that the tribunal sitting in Abuja had no jurisdiction over matters that transpired in the state. His contention is that the tribunal should have sat in Rivers state and not in Abuja. The tribunal was moved to Abuja over for security concerns, as those of Akwa Ibom, Yobe, Adamawa and Borno. The appeal court had earlier ruled that the tribunal could sit in Abuja to handle Rivers election petitions.
The Rivers tribunal had last Saturday sacked Wike as governor of the state, and ordered that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) hold a fresh election within 90 days. The apex court held that the tribunal was properly constituted and had jurisdiction to hear the petition of Peterside. It ruled that the shift in location of the tribunal from Rivers to Abuja was out of necessity, and added that the president of the appeal court did not err in law by ordering the relocation of the tribunal. The court therefore dismissed Wike’s suit for lack of merit.
The seven judges of the court, who were all in agreement with the ruling, stated that the relocation of the tribunal was to protect members of the panel and as such complied with the “doctrine of necessity”.