As as few hours ago, The Rivers State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal on Monday struck out the petition filed by the candidate of the African Action Congress, Biokpomabo Awara, against the election of Governor Nyesom Wike of the Peoples Democratic Party.
Justice K. A. Orjiako, who presided over the three-man tribunal, held that the AAC filed its pre-hearing processes out of time.
Describing the AAC’s action as an act of incompetence and abandonment of the matter, the tribunal sitting in Port Harcourt stated that the petition was believed to have been technically deserted because the party (AAC) and its candidate did not meet key procedural requirements.
Delivering the ruling on behalf of the panel, Justice K.B. Olawoyin said the petitioner did not meet the requirements of applying for pre-hearing details.
He described the petition marked EPT/RS/GOV/03/2019 as incompetent and subsequently dismissed it.
The tribunal had on May 22, 2019, directed Henry Bello to stand as the counsel for the AAC while Taiwo Taiwo, SAN, remained Awara’s counsel.
But Awara had, as a result of the development on the matter, filed an application, which sought his separation from the AAC.
Bello, who later resumed as the counsel for the AAC, urged the court to dismiss all applications made prior to his resumption as the party’s lawyer.
The tribunal, however, struck out Awara’s applications, which sought to be detached from every joint application earlier made with the AAC and ruled that the request by the first petitioner, Taiwo Taiwo, as AAC’s counsel be dismissed.
It described the application by counsel for Awara, Mustafa Ibrahim, asking for separation as an abuse of court process.
Speaking with newsmen shortly after the session at the tribunal, Bello stated, “We came to the tribunal as counsel for the second petitioner, which is the political party, AAC, and on the 22nd of May, the tribunal granted us.
“We filed an application to the tribunal to set aside all the processes made without the authority of the second petitioner from May 22 till June 22 and the court nullified all the processes.”