Apex Court Upholds Governor Fubara’s Election Victory, Rejecting APC Candidate Tonye Cole’s Appeal

Apex Court Upholds Governor Fubara’s Election Victory, Rejecting APC Candidate Tonye Cole’s Appeal

Supreme Court Validates Fubara’s Victory:

The Supreme Court has solidified the electoral triumph of Governor Siminalayi Fubara in Rivers State by upholding his election victory.

In a unanimous decision led by Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, the five-man panel dismissed the appeal filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Tonye Cole, citing a lack of merit.

Unanimous Verdict Against APC’s Appeal:

Justice Ibrahim Saulawa delivered the lead judgment, affirming that there was no basis to overturn the concurrent decisions of both the Court of Appeal and the Rivers State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal.

These bodies had previously upheld Fubara’s victory in the March 18, 2023, poll.

Failure to Discredit Election Process:

The Supreme Court emphasized that Tonye Cole failed to establish any grounds to dispute the election’s compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022.

The court held that the election was conducted in accordance with the law, dismissing allegations of irregularities.

APC’s Withdrawal and Cole’s Persistence:

It’s noteworthy that the APC had withdrawn from the case during the proceedings at the Rivers State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal.

Despite the party’s decision not to contest Fubara’s declaration as the winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Tonye Cole remained committed to pursuing his petition to its conclusion.

INEC’s Declaration and Cole’s Allegations:

INEC had announced Fubara, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as the winner with a total of 302,614 votes, defeating APC’s Tonye Cole, who secured 95,274 votes.

Tonye Cole contested the outcome, alleging corrupt practices and asserting that the election did not adhere to the Electoral Act, 2022.

Claims of Invalid Resignation:

Additionally, Cole raised concerns about Fubara’s purported failure to validly resign from his previous position as mandated by law before participating in the gubernatorial election.

These claims formed part of the grounds on which the APC sought to challenge the legitimacy of Fubara’s victory.

Legal Battles Concluded:

With the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision, Governor Fubara’s election victory remains intact, marking the conclusion of the legal battles surrounding the contested gubernatorial poll in Rivers State.

TDPel Media

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