The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja today threw out, disregarded, discarded and jettisoned the appeal filed by Senator Olaka Nwogu and PDP against the verdict of the Election Petition Tribunal which weeks ago validated the victory of Senator Magnus Abe in the December 10th 2016 parliamentary rerun election in Rivers South-East Senatorial District by dismissing the petition of Olaka Nwogu.
Dissatisfied with the well-reasoned judgement of the tribunal, Senator Olaka Nwogu and PDP had approached the Court of Appeal praying it to set aside the judgement of the tribunal, nullify the election of December 10th 2016 and order for yet another rerun election, among other conflicting prayers.
But the Court Appeal would have nothing to do with such prayers as it in its judgement today agreed with the verdict of the lower tribunal that the appellants failed to show through credible evidence that the election of December 10th, 2016 in Rivers South-East was not conducted in substantial compliance with the Electoral Act.
The Court of Appeal therefore in its judgement dismissed the case of the appellant, signaling an end to what has been an unprecedented, acrimoniously protracted election in the history of Rivers State.
The inconsistencies in the documentary and verbal evidence, including the prayers of the appellants didn’t help matters.
For instance, the appellants have incredibly submitted results (form EC8A) of the Edo Governorship Election as evidence of result in the senatorial election in Rivers South-East.
The inconsistency in prayers and oral evidence in the appellants’ case was even worse. The appellants have brought witnesses who testified that election didn’t take place in their polling units, wards and LGAs. Yet, the appellants in their alternate prayers have prayed the court to declare the PDP and Senator Nwogu winner of an election they contended did not hold in accordance with the Electoral Act. In another prayer, same appellants were calling for the cancelation of the election. These inconsistencies also dealt a blow on the case of the appellants.
The appellants in their documentary and oral evidence approbated and reprobated at the same time. That was fatal.
As earlier stated, the affirmation of Senator Abe’s victory and the dismissal of the appeal by Senator Olaka Nwogu of PDP brings to an expected end the longest election brouhaha in the history of Rivers State.
Senator Abe can now settle down for legislative business while expecting reasonable support and input from his brother and friend Olaka Nwogu.
Kennedy Friday, joyfully reporting.