Breaking: Supreme Court affirms Fubara as Rivers Governor

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The Supreme Court has affirmed the election of Siminalayi Fubara of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as Governor of Rivers State.
On Thursday, the five-member panel of the Court dismissed an appeal filed by Patrick Tonye-Cole of the All Progressives Congress (APC), stating that the appeal was grossly lacking in merit.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Fubara the winner with 302,614 votes, while Tonye-Cole secured approximately 95,000 votes.
The Court of Appeal in Lagos had previously affirmed Fubara’s victory, emphasizing that he was duly sponsored by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Tonye-Cole argued that Fubara, as of the March 18 governorship election, did not resign as Rivers State Accountant General, violating relevant laws. However, both the appeal court and the Rivers State Tribunal rejected this claim, citing a lack of merit and failure to prove Fubara’s disqualification.
The tribunal also noted that the Rivers APC faction, which sponsored Cole, withdrew the petition against Fubara’s victory. Dissatisfied with the lower courts’ verdicts, Tonye-Cole approached the apex court seeking redress.
During the hearing, Tonye-Cole’s lawyer, Jibril Okutepa, insisted on Fubara’s electoral law contravention. In response, Fubara’s legal team, led by Emmanuel Ukala, urged the apex court to uphold their client’s election, aligning with the lower courts’ finding.
Reading out the lead judgment, Justice Ibrahim Mohammed Saulawa stated that the appellant failed to prove non-compliance with the Electoral Act and corrupt practices.
“I have come to the inevitable conclusion that this appeal is grossly lacking in merit. The appeal is accordingly dismissed,” Justice Saulawa declared in a unanimous decision.

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