The Court of Appeal in Abuja on Thursday upheld the judgment of the Rivers State National and State Elections Petitions Tribunal, which sacked the Peoples Democratic Party senator representing Rivers East in the Senate, George Sekibo.
The tribunal had in its judgment delivered on June 29, ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission to withdraw the Certificate of Return issued to Sekibo and directed that a fresh one be issued to Mr. Andrew Uchendu of the All Progressives Congress as the duly elected senator for Rivers East.
Delivering the lead judgment in the appeal by Sekibo challenging the tribunal’s judgment, Justice Adamu Jauro, held that the petition filed by the sacked senator lacked merit.
In another judgment delivered by Justice Habeeb Abiru, the Court of Appeal upheld the election of Senator Magnus Abe of Rivers South-East.
The appeal against Abe was filed by Mr. Oloka Nwogu of the PDP.
The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal on the grounds that it lacked merit.
Justice Abiru held that the issues raised by Nwogu in his petition against Abe’s election were criminal in nature.
The appeal court held that such criminal allegations were not proved beyond reasonable doubt as required by law.
In the third appeal on the Rivers West Senatorial District election, the appellate court also upheld the election of Senator Osinachukwu Ideozu of the PDP.
The Court of Appeal in the judgment delivered by Justice Mohammed Mustapha dismissed the appeal brought against Ideozu by Otelemaba Amachree of the APC on the grounds that the petition lacked merit.
Delivering judgment in the appeal against Sekibo, the appeal court held that the tribunal was right in removing Sekibo as his election was conducted in violation of the provisions of the Electoral Act and INEC guidelines.