Court Of Appeal Sacks Apc Assembly Member In Rivers
BEVERLY HILL, December 01, (THEWILL) – The Court of Appeal in Abuja has sacked a member of the Rivers State House of Assembly representing Opobo/Nkoro Constituency, Mr. Andrew Miller on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, who was declared winner of the March 19, 2016 re-run in the state. It held that the election as “massively rigged” in favour of the APC and Miller.
In a unanimous judgment delivered on Thursday by the Justice Ibrahim Saulawa-led panel, the appellate court voided the Certificate of Return issued to Miller by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and ordered that a fresh one be issued to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP candidate in the re-run, Mr. Diri Adonye.
The appeal court panel made the consequential orders after setting aside the judgment of the Rivers State Election Petition Tribunal which earlier affirmed the election of the APC and its candidate.
The PDP and its candidate had filed their petition before the tribunal contending that the APC's candidate declared as the winner of the poll did not receive the highest lawful votes, adding that the figures were inflated in favour of the APC and its candidate.
But the tribunal, in its judgment, struck out the petition on the grounds that the petitioners failed to prove the alleged tampering with the authentic election results and who actually altered with the results.
The PDP and Adonye then appealed the ruling at the Court of Appeal asking for an order setting aside the judgment of the tribunal.
The Court of Appeal, in the lead judgment read by Justice George Mbaba on Thursday, averred that the election was “massively rigged” with figures fraudulently altered across the 11 wards in the Opobo/Nkoro Constituency of the Rivers State House of Assembly, adding that they were fraudulently inflated and allocated to the APC.