Members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogu/Bolo Local Government Area have faulted the judgment of the Rivers State Election Petition Tribunal for the rerun legislative elections in the state which nullifies the election of Senator George Thompson Sekibo representing the Rivers East Senatorial district.
The Ogu/Bolo PDP caucus in a communiqué issued at the end of its meeting described the judgment as double standard adopted by the tribunal in altering the declaration of George Sekibo as winner in the December 10, 2016 legislative re-run election in Rivers State.
The member representing Ogu/Bolo constituency in the Rivers State House of Assembly, Evans Bipi who read the communiqué said it distant the law that the tribunal disregarded the result tendered by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
His words: “Our position stemmed from the fact that the tribunal came to a decision without evaluating the evidence of the witnesses called by parties on the claims on the petition as provided by the Electoral Act, 2010 as amended.
We query the double standard adopted by the three-man panel of the tribunal which relied fully on results tendered by INEC to dismiss all other petitions brought before it, even the petitions challenging the House of Representatives seat in the Rivers East Senatorial District, only to suddenly turn around in Senator George Sekibo’s case to castigate original INEC results as unreliable in preference for photocopy of results from the Nigerian Police,” Bipi added.
He also said that if the judgment is allowed to stand, it could set a bad precedence in Nigeria legal profession and dent the image of the nation’s law system abroad.
His words: “It is strange in law that the tribunal disregarded the result tendered by the electoral body to rely on the results tendered by the Nigerian Police, who were accused of being partisan during the election.
It is our view that this judgment if allowed to stand could set a bad precedence in our legal jurisprudence and dent the image of the Nigerian judiciary. This obvious travesty of justice is capable of destroying the image of the judiciary in particular and democracy in general.
We therefore reject this judgment in its entirety and totally support the decision of distinguished Senator George Thompson Sekibo,” he added.
Meanwhile, a former Commissioner for Water Resources in Rivers State, Ibibia Walter said the judgment coming out from the tribunal is a vindication of the recent comment made by Governor Nyesom Wike that democracy in Nigeria is under serious threat.
Read more: http://www.thetidenewsonline.com/2017/07/07/ogubolo-pdp-faults-tribunals-verdict-on-sekibo/