The Electoral Court of the Interior of the State of Rivers rejected the petition presented by the candidate for the governorship of the Democratic Party of Action (ADP), Victor Fingesi, against the re-election of the governor of the state of Rivers, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike.
The court described the petition as an adventure to discover the non-existent. He stated that in the end, the petitioner discovered nothing.
In a sentence read by the President of the Court, Judge K.A. Orjiako on Saturday, the Court ruled that ADP Fingesi lacks the standi locus to file the petition.
The Court held that the inconsistent facts contained in the petition filed by the ADP Governor Candidate make it incompetent.
According to the Court, the petitioner, in his own petition, wrote that he was challenging the election of the first petitioner.
The Court said that an electoral petition must challenge the person returned as the winner and not the petitioner.
Judge Orjiako declared that the Court had rejected the petition on the premise and the petitioner was appealed.
The court noted that the Court of Appeal affirmed that the petitioner lacks a locus standi in view of the paragraphs of his own petition.
He ruled: “This request is here crossed out. The petitioner lacks the standi locus to file the petition. ”
In determining the petition on its merit, the Court declared that the petitioner could not unfortunately demonstrate that Governor Wike did not obtain the highest number of legal votes during the governor’s election on March 9, 2019.
Judge Orjiako stated that the petitioner’s complaint is vague and merely speculative.
The Court stated that the first petitioner did not know the number of registered voters in the state. The Court further noted that the petitioner under interrogation said he was not aware of the number of registered voters in his own voting unit in Okrika LGA.
The Court stated that an accusation that the winner did not obtain the highest number of votes is an invitation to compare figures. The Court held that the petitioner should claim his own results and those of the winner for the court to verify.
Judge Orjiako said there was no evidence of alleged inflation of results, since the evidence remains vague.
The Court held that the burden of proof lies strictly with the petitioner and not with any weaknesses in the defense of the defendants.
The Court agreed with INEC that the election was made in substantial compliance with the Electoral Law.
The Court examined that the testimonies of the ADP witnesses were no more than rumors, since most of them were not in the respective voting units where the elections were held.
The Court described most of the ADP witnesses as imposters who capitulated before the interrogation. The Court examined the testimonies on a local government basis by local government.
According to the Court, despite the litany of documents requested by the petitioner, he could only submit journalistic reports.
The Court said that INEC has the power to suspend an election, in accordance with Section 26 (1) of the amended Electoral Act of 2010.
The Court further stated that there is no evidence that after the suspension of the elections, the petitioners refused to participate in the process. The Court stated that the petitioners had not provided evidence to challenge the election of Governor Wike.