The Rivers State Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja has reserved judgment in the petition filed by the candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the March 18 governorship poll in Rivers, Tonye Cole, against the election victory of Governor Siminalayi Fubara of the Peoples Democratic Party.
The three-member tribunal, headed by Justice Cletus Emifonye, adjourned the matter for judgment after the parties adopted their final written addresses and presented their arguments for and against the petition on Wednesday.
Although, the day for the judgment was not disclosed.
Cole had challenged the victory of Governor Fubara, who was pronounced winner of the March 18 election by the Independent National Electoral Commission, having polled 302,614 votes as against 95,274 votes garnered by Cole.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, Cole’s lead counsel, Chief Tuduru Ede, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, said the aim of the petition was to ensure that Cole’s mandate was restored. He further stated that about 40 witnesses were called and enough exhibits were tendered to support their case.
Ede said the main plank of their case was that Fubara was not qualified to run for office as he did not resign from his post as Accountant-General and Permanent Secretary in Rivers State before the election.
“What we are here to do in court is to ensure that we secure the mandate that was taken off us in March and I just want to assure everybody in Rivers that we will do everything within our power to ensure that justice is done.
“We have presented the case, we are just waiting for the result”. He said
Cole expressed his confidence in the tribunal and God that justice would be done in his petition.
The Minister of Federal Capital Territory and predecessor to Fubara, Nyesom Wike, was present at the proceeding.