Appeal Court affirms Fubara as Rivers Gov, dismisses Tonye-Cole petition

Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos, South West of Nigeria upholds Simi Fubara as the duly elected Governor of Rivers State.

An Appeal Court sitting in Lagos State has affirmed the election of Siminalayi Fubara as the governor of Rivers State.

Tonye-Cole wanted the Appeal Court to direct the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to declare him the winner of the March governorship election
Tonye-Cole, who was not satisfied with the Tribunal’s judgment, approached the appellate court.

The court dismissed the petition filed by the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State, Patrick Tonye-Cole, against Fubara of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The Election Petitions Tribunal, the initial battleground for Tonye-Cole’s grievances, delivered a judgment that did not align with his expectations. Unsatisfied with the outcome, he pursued his quest for justice through the appellate court, seeking a reconsideration and reversal of the verdict. This decision marked the commencement of a legal journey that would ultimately determine the fate of the gubernatorial leadership in Rivers State.

The recent ruling by the Court of Appeal in Lagos serves as the latest chapter in this unfolding legal drama. The court, after a thorough examination of the evidence presented by both parties, dismissed Tonye-Cole’s petition. Siminalayi Fubara’s victory was upheld, and the aspirations of the APC candidate to be declared the winner were quashed. This judgment reinforces the credibility of the electoral process and affirms the will of the people as expressed through the ballot.

The affirmation of Fubara’s victory carries significant implications for the democratic landscape of Rivers State. It reinforces the principle that elections are a reflection of the will of the people, and their outcomes must be respected unless proven otherwise through established legal processes. The decision also underscores the importance of conducting free, fair, and transparent elections, as any deviation from these principles can lead to protracted legal battles that may undermine public confidence.

In the courtroom on Tuesday, the APC candidate requested that the court order INEC to declare him the winner of the March governorship election in Rivers.

Cole’s case contesting Fubara’s election as governor was initially dismissed by the Rivers State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in October.

Dissatisfied with the tribunal’s judgment, the APC candidate approached the appellate court.

However, the court on Tuesday upheld the Tribunal ruling, which affirmed Fubara’s victory in October.

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