Supreme Court upholds Wike, Amosun, Umahi’s elections


The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the elections of Nyesom Wike, Ibikunle Amosun and Dave Umahi as governors of Rivers, Ogun and Ebonyi States respectively.

The court in three unanimous judgments in the appeals filed by Wike, his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), set aside the concurrent judgments of the Rivers State governorship election tribunal and the Court of Appeal, Abuja.

The appeals were all heard by a seven-man panel headed by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed.

Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, who read the lead judgments in the three appeals, upheld the return of Wike as winner of the election.

“I find and hold that this appeal is meritorious and it is allowed. The judgment of the lower court delivered on the 16th of November 2015 and the judgment of the tribunal delivered on 24th October 2015 are hereby set aside.

“The petition of the petitioners is dismissed. The return of Nyesom Wike as governor of Rivers State by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is restored,” she stated.

Justice Kekere-Ekun said she will provide reason for her decision on February 12.

Justices Mohammed, Ibrahim Mohammed, Sylvester Ngwuta, Kumai Akaahs and Amiru Sanusi, who were members of the panel agreed with Kekere-Ekun’s lead judgment.

The candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dakuku Peterside and his party had gone before the Rivers State governorship election tribunal to challenge Wike’s return by INEC as the winner of the April 11, 2015 governorship election in the state.

The tribunal, which sat in Abuja, ruled in favour of the petitioners and voided the election on grounds of widespread violence and non-compliance with the Electoral Act.

It ordered a rerun election within 90 days.

The apex court also dismissed the appeal by the PDP governorship candidate in Ogun State, Adegboyega Isiaka.

Isiaka had challenged the judgments of the Court of Appeal and Ogun State governorship election tribunal, which both upheld the election of Ibikunle Amosun as governor of Ogun State.

Justice Akaahs, who read the lead judgment, held that the appeal lacked merit and dismissed it.

The court equally dismissed the appeal filed by governorship candidate of Labour Party in Ebonyi State, Edward Nkwegu.

Justice Chima Centus Nweze, who read the lead judgment, held that the preliminary objection raised by Umahi succeeds in part.

He resolved the two issues on the main appeal against the appellant.

“No merit in this appeal. Umahi is the duly elected governor of Ebonyi State. Reasons will be given on Friday, January 29,” Justice Nweze held.