Peoples Democratic Party (Pdp) V. Hon. (Dr.) Dakuku Adol Peterside & Ors (2016)
LAWGLOBAL HUB Lead Judgment Report
KUDIRAT MOTONMORI OLATOKUNBO KEKERE-EKUN, J.S.C.
This appeal was heard on 27th January 2016. Learned counsel for the parties adopted their respective briefs of argument and made some oral submissions therein. I pronounced my judgment on that day allowing the appeal and undertook to give my reasons today.
This appeal is against the judgment of the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division delivered on 10th December 2015 affirming the judgment of the Rivers State Governorship Election Tribunal delivered on 24th October, 2015, which nullified the election and return of the 4th respondent as Governor of Rivers State and order the conduct of a fresh election.
The 1st and 2nd respondents were dissatisfied with the return of 4th respondent and filed a petition before the Tribunal on the following
“(i) That the 2nd respondent was not duly elected by majority or highest number of lawful votes cast at the election;
(ii) That the election of the 2nd respondent was invalid and unlawful by reason of substantial non-compliance with the Provisions of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), Manual for Election Officers 2015) as well as
the 1st respondent’s 2015 General Elections approved guidelines and regulations.
(iii) The election was invalid by reason of corrupt practices.”
They sought among other reliefs a declaration that the results of the Governorship election for Rivers State held on 11th and 12th April 2015 for the entire River State save Eleme Local Government Area, Wards 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 11 and 19 of PortHarcourt Area as declared and announced by the 3rd respondent be nullified and a fresh election be conducted in all the polling units and wards of Rivers State be conducted by the 3rd respondent,
At the conclusion of hearing, the Tribunal allowed the petition and nullified the election and return of the appellant on grounds of substantial non-compliance with the Electoral Act.
On appeal to the Court below by the 4th respondent, the appeal was dismissed on 16/12/2015 and the judgment of the Tribunal was affirmed.
It is pertinent to note that the present appellant, which is the party that sponsored the 4th respondent, and the 3rd respondent (INEC) all appealed against the judgment. The appeal filed by the 4th respondent bears Appeal No. SC.1002/2015, while the appeal filed by the 3rd
respondent bears Appeal No.SC.1003/2015.
The issues raised in this appeal, which is between the same parties and against the same judgment are substantially similar as in the sister appeals. I have given comprehensive reasons in SC.1002/2015 for allowing the appeal, I adopt the reasoning in the instant appeal and accordingly allow the appeal.
The judgment of the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division delivered on 16/12/2015 which affirmed the judgment of the Rivers State Governorship Election Tribunal delivered on 24/10/2015 is hereby set aside. The petition of the 1st and 2nd respondents is hereby dismissed.
The return of the 4th respondent as the duly elected Governor of Rivers State by the 3rd respondent (INEC) is hereby restored. Parties shall bear their costs.