INEC closes defence in Rivers guber petition, Wike’s opens today



THE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday in Abuja closed its defence at the Rivers State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal which is hearing the suit filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate, Dakuku Peterside against the conduct of the April 11, 2015 polls which produced Nyesom Wike as governor.

INEC declared that the 16 witnesses it called were assigned to all locations where the petitioners claimed the election did not hold.

The electoral body maintained that it had adduced enough evidence to prove that the election held peacefully and in line with the Electoral Act and stipulated guidelines

Ruling on INEC’s application for closure of its defence, Chairman of the panel, Justice Suleiman Ambrosa, adjourned sitting till today for Governor Wike to open his defence.

Addressing journalists, counsel to INEC, Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN) said: “We are satisfied that the 16 witnesses who conducted the Rivers State governorship election in communities where the petitioner had alleged violence are enough to prove that the election held successfully, contrary to their allegations.

“Witnesses are not called for the fun of it, but for the specific purpose of proving our case,” he added.

Ikpeazu noted that besides his, Wike and the PDP had theirs to call.

All the witnesses maintained that the election was peaceful, credible, free and fair. They accused the soldiers, mobile policemen and security agents that had testified otherwise of “lying when they did not participate in the election.”

The INEC witnesses comprised Electoral Officers and Presiding Officers at the councils.

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