The Rivers State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Abuja on Wednesday issued an order permitting Dr. Dakuku Peterside, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in the April 11, 2015 election, to inspect the documents used for the conduct of the poll.
Peterside and APC filed their petition before the tribunal to challenge Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) declaration of PDP Governor Nyesom Wike, as winner of the April 11 poll, which the petitioners contended was marred by electoral fraud and irregularities.
Wike of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had sought a stay of execution.
On the contrary, the Justice Mu’azu Pindiga-led tribunal, in a separate ruling on Wednesday, dismissed an application by Peterside and APC seeking an order directing INEC to transfer the electoral materials used for the conduct of the April 11 governorship poll in Rivers State, from Port Harcourt, the state capital, to the national headquarters of the electoral body in Abuja for easy inspection.
The tribunal also struck out another application seeking an order directing all notices of preliminary objection already filed or intended to be filed by the respondents to be raised only in their final written addresses after the hearing of the petition.
In refusing the petitioners’ application, Justice Pindiga held that the application had been overtaken by events since some of such notices of preliminary objection had already been heard.
In all, the tribunal on Wednesday delivered five rulings on separate interlocutory applications filed by parties to the petition. None of the applications was granted by the tribunal.
Other applications dismissed by the tribunal included one by INEC, seeking an order striking out the reply of the petitioners to its own response to the petition and a motion by Wike asking the tribunal to strike out witnesses’ statements on oath of the respondents.