The request put forward to the Rivers state governorship election petitions tribunal by the All Progressives Congress and its governorship candidate, Dakuku Peterside, to transfer all the materials that were used for the conduct of the April 11 governorship election in the state to Abuja for inspection has been declined today, August 19.
According to Vanguard, the Justice Muazu Pindiga-led tribunal sitting in Abuja dismissed the application filed by the opposition party and its flag bearer.
The duo had filed against the election victory of Governor Nyesom Wike of the Peoples Democratic Party asking the tribunal to direct INEC to relocate all the polling materials to Abuja for inspection by its legal team and forensic experts.
The application requested that all electoral materials include all ballot papers, the voters register that was used for the election, as well as the biometric data as captured by the Card Reader Machines that were deployed to the state by INEC for the purpose of the disputed governorship poll.
However, upon declining the July 17, 2015 application, the tribunal resolved that giving in to the request made by the APC and Peterside would amount to varying an earlier order it made on June 11.
In the previous order, the tribunal had directed the electoral body to grant the petitioners access to the election materials.
The tribunal maintained that the petitioners failed to convince it on why that previous ruling should be amended to reflect that the inspection of the materials should be conducted in Abuja.
Sources disclosed that following the tribunal’s decision, supporters of the state governor have been celebrating in the city of Port-Harcourt.
Meanwhle, the INEC on Monday August 17, stunned the ongoing governorship tribunal sitting in Abeokuta, as it approached the court with thousands of documents loaded in four Hilux vans.