Mon, 22 Apr 2024


UPDATED: Supreme Court dismisses Tonye Cole’s appeal against Fubara
By: Abara Blessing Oluchi
Thu, 25 Jan 2024   ||   Nigeria,

The Supreme Court has dismissed the appeal of Tonye Cole and the All Progressives Congress (APC) against the election of Siminalayi Fubara as Rivers State governor for lacking in merit.

Affirming Fubara as the duly elected governor of Rivers State, the court held that the appellant did not prove the allegations of non compliance with the Electoral Act among others.

The court held that the appeal was incompetent and dismissed it.

Cole, who was the APC candidate in the March 18, 2023 election, was challenging the victory of Governor Fubara on the ground that he did not resign as the accountant general of rivers state before the election.

Cole also cited alleged irregularities, non compliance with the Electoral Act, corrupt practices among others.

He sought for the reversal of the judgements of the Court of Appeal and the Tribunal, which upheld the declaration of Fubara of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)as the winner of the Rivers Governorship Election.

Cole’s case is a fallout of the Appeal Court decision of 28th November which dismissed his appeal for lacking sufficient and convincing evidence.

The Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos had affirmed the election of Fubara as the Rivers State governor.

The appellate court had in a unanimous decision, affirmed the judgment of the election tribunal, dismissing four separate appeals filed by Cole, Beatrice Itubo of the Labour Party (LP), Innocent Ekwu of the Allied People’s Movement (APM), and Lulu Briggs Dumo of the Accord Party.

The APC candidate, who was present in the courtroom on Tuesday, wanted the court to direct the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to declare him the winner of the March governorship election in Rivers.

The APC candidate had wanted the court to direct the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to declare him the winner of the March governorship election in Rivers.

Earlier in October 2023, the Rivers State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal had dismissed the petition of Cole challenging the election of Fubara as the governor of the state.

The tribunal had dismissed the petition saying that the APC that sponsored Cole had withdrawn the petition against Fubara’s victory.

Not satisfied with the Tribunal’s victory, the APC candidate approached the appellate court, but the court affirmed the Tribunal ruling which earlier upheld Fubara’s electoral victory.

Fubara of the PDP was declared winner of the Rivers State governorship election by INEC ahead of other candidates.

The PDP candidate had polled 302,614 votes to defeat his closet rival Tonye Cole of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who scored 95,274 votes while the Social Democratic Party (SDP) candidate, Senator Magnus Abe, and Labour Party (LP)’s, Beatrice Itubo came a distant third and fourth with 46,981 and 22,224 votes respectively.


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