Abuja – Gov. Nyesom Wike of Rivers on Friday asked the state Governorship Election Petition Tribunal to dismiss Dr. Dakuku Peterside’s petition for not complying with the rules of the law.
Counsel to the governor, Mr Emmanuel Ukala (SAN), made the application at the sitting of the tribunal in Abuja.
Ukala told the tribunal that the petitioner did not pay the N100 required fee before commencement of the pre-hearing.
“We seek to rely on our further affidavit and motion before the tribunal, failure of the petitioner to properly comply with the Electoral Act, the petition is futile.
“We urge this tribunal to adopt the submission of its earlier rulings on Aug. 3 and dismiss this petition,’’ Ukala pleaded.
Counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mr K.C.O Njemeze (SAN) and counsel to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr F. O. Orbih (SAN), agreed with Ukala’s submission.
According to the duo, the tribunal should dismiss Peterside`s petition and treat it as abandoned petition “in the eye of the law”.
Counsel to Peterside, Mr.Akin Olujimi, countered the applications, saying that there was no provision in the law that stated that one should pay money before pre-hearing.
According to him, the application by the counsel and that of the INEC and PDP lack merit.
“There is nowhere it is prescribed in the electoral act that we should pay any fee before our matter can be heard.
“But so, if there is, the N100 should be deducted from the initial N400,000 we paid before the commencement of the tribunal sitting,’’ Olujimi said.
He urged the tribunal to dismiss Wike’s application and move ahead.
Meanwhile, the tribunal Chairman, Justice Muazu Pindiga, adjourned sitting to Aug. 17, to rule on the application. (NAN)