The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State has advised the Caretaker Governor of the State, Chief Nyesom Ezebunwo Wike, to start packing his bags with a view to vacating the Brick House Government House in Port Harcourt as there is no way he could avoid being removed by the State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal. The party gave the advice while welcoming the judgment of the tribunal which during Thursday’s sitting in Abuja ordered that APC be allowed to inspect materials used for the shambolic April 11, 2015 governorship election, and that forensic analysis be conducted on any materials used for the polls found to have been tampered with. The judge also overruled Wike’s application on jurisdiction.
“We wish to echo the words of Chief Akin Olunjinmi, leading counsel to our distinguished gubernatorial candidate, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, that Chief Wike’s prayer and motion on jurisdiction is a deliberate attempt and ‘game-plan’ to delay the tribunal’s sitting. We are happy that the honourable tribunal saw through Wike’s tricks and justifiably dismissed his objections, thus paving the way for the hearing of the substantive suit,” Rivers APC said in the statement signed by the Chairman, Dr. Davies Ibiamu Ikanya.
The party repeated its claim that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) erred in declaring Wike, of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), winner of the violence-marred election globally acknowledged to be a charade.
“While Wike continues to enjoy the dividends of his stolen mandate, we wish to advise him to start to gradually pack his bags because he is a temporary tenant in the Rivers State Government House. The mountain of evidence against the declaration of Wike as governor is so high that his ouster by the tribunal is a foregone conclusion,” Rivers APC said.
It described as a minor setback the judgment, also on Thursday, by a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt presided over by Justice Lambo Akambi, which nullified the election of the 22 local Government council chairmen and councilors organised by the Professor Augustine Ahiazu-led Rivers State Independent Election Commission (RSIEC), during the administration of Chibuike Amaechi.
“It is our considered opinion that His Lordship erred in his judgment and we are confident of getting a favourable verdict on appeal,” Dr. Ikanya said. He urged APC’s teeming members and supporters in the State to remain calm and vigilant as the party leadership is determined to pursue the matter to a logical conclusion.