Court Of Appeal Annuls APC Seat in Rivers House of Assembly

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The Court of Appeal, sitting in Abuja, yesterday, annulled the election of a member of the Rivers State’s House of Assembly, Mr. Andrew Miller (APC) over massive rigging in the March 19, 2016 Rivers re-erun election.The nullification set aside the judgment of the Rivers State Election Petition Tribunal which affirmed the election of the member representing Opobo/Nkoro State Constituency.

Justice Saulawa’s panel of judges ordered the nullification of the certificate of return issued to the APC’s candidate by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and mandated the commission to issue a fresh certificate of return to PDP’s candidate, Mr. Diri Adonye, who the court declared winner of the March rerun.Justice George Mbaba, who read the unanimous judgment to the litigants, held that the results of the elections were altered with figures fraudulently inflated and allocated to the APC’s candidate.

Last week, the state chapter of the APC, went on a protest march, calling the leadership of the State House of Assembly, to swear in Mr. Andrew Miller, who inadvertently could not take his seat in untoward circumstances even as the INEC issued him a certificate of return.When the 8th Assembly was reconstituted after the March 19, 2016 rerun election and winners sworn in, Miller did not present himself for swearing as it was expected.

The appeal court is the final court of arbiter in elections petition on matters relating to state assemblies.