Court gavel justice source: file copy

The Legislative Election Petitions Tribunal for Rivers State, on Monday, upheld the elections of six Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lawmakers in the National Assembly.

In different judgment delivered by the tribunal, the three-member panel dismissed the petitions filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its six candidates in the National Assembly elections held in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the tribunal sitting in Abuja upheld the election of Senator George Sekibo (PDP- Rivers East).

In the judgment delivered by the chairman of the tribunal, Justice Muazu Pindiga, the panel dismissed the petition filed against Sekibo by the APC and its candidate, Andrew Uchendu, for lacking in merit.

Specifically, the tribunal held that the petitioners failed to prove their case beyond reasonable doubt by their failure to call enough witnesses to back up their allegations.

“Where a petitioner claims there was no election, he is to call at least one witness per polling unit. Allegation of corrupt practices must be proved beyond reasonable doubt,” Pindiga held.

NAN reported that the tribunal also dismissed the petition filed by APC and its candidate, Ogbonna Nwuke, against the election of Mr Jerome Amadi representing Etche/Omuma federal constituency in the House of Representatives.

The tribunal equally dismissed the petition of the APC and its candidate, Maureen Tamuno, against the election of Mr Gogo Tamuno of PDP representing Okrika/Ogubolo federal constituency in the House of Representatives.

Also dismissed by the tribunal was the petition filed by the APC and its candidate, Anthony Okocha, against the election of Mr Kingsley Chinda representing Obio-Akpor federal constituency in the House of Representatives.

The tribunal held that the petition filed by Wihioka Frank of the APC against Mr Boniface Emerengwa of the PDP representing Ikwerre/Emohua federal constituency in the House of Representative was also lacking in merit.

NAN reported that the tribunal also dismissed the petition of Mr Collins Owhondah against the election of Honourable Blessing Nsiegbe representing Port-Harcourt 2 federal constituency in the House of Representatives.
In dismissing each petition, the tribunal held that the petitioners had the onus to prove allegation of corrupt practices beyond reasonable doubt, which they failed to do.

Specifically on the video tape tendered by one of the petitioners, Maureen Tamuno, which showed clips of massive thumb-printing, the tribunal held that the exhibit was not tendered in compliance to the provisions of Section 84 (4) (a) – (c) of the Evidence Act.

In addition, the tribunal held that there was no evidence to show that the alleged thumb-printing as shown in the video clips was in respect of Okrika/Ogubolo constituency.

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