JUST IN: Court Summons Gov Wike, INEC Over Suspension Of Rivers’ Governorship Polls’

By Edith Elekute

The Rivers State government and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, have been summoned to appear before a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt to defend the validity of Saturday’s governorship and state assembly elections.

The invitation came after Chief Tonte Ibraye, the Africa Democratic Congress’s (ADC) candidate for governor, and the party (ADC) filed a lawsuit to have the state’s scheduled governorship election on March 11 postponed.

The new Executive Orders of the Rivers State government had a negative impact on the state’s electoral process, according to Tonte, who made this claim in an ex parte motion filed in accordance with Order 26, Rule 1, 2, 3, 6 (1), and 7, and Order 28 Rule 1(1) and (2) of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rule 2019.

The governorship election in the state was requested to be suspended by the plaintiffs, Chief Tonte Ibraye and ADC, in the complaint filed in Abuja on four grounds.

However, the ex parte motion that was received and transferred to be heard in Port Harcourt by Ms. G. I. Obata, Registrar of the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, was heard today.

The defendants, including the Peoples Democratic Party, the Rivers State Attorney General, the Governor of Rivers State, and INEC, were ordered to appear before the court tomorrow, March 8, at 1 p.m. by Justice A. T. Mohammed, who is presiding over the case.

The parties were to be present to make their case for not suspending the elections on Saturday, according to Mohammed.

The plaintiffs are seeking a court order granting an interim injunction prohibiting the first defendant, acting alone or through its representatives, agents, privies, and/or other third parties, from continuing to implement and enforce Executive Order RVSG-21 2022, issued on October 4, 2022, and Executive Order RVsG-22 2022, issued on November 11, 2022, while the court considers the motion on notice before it.

In addition, they ask the court to issue an interim injunction preventing the fourth defendant (INEC), acting alone or through its representatives, agents, privies, or anyone else acting on its behalf, from conducting the upcoming governor’s election in Rivers State, which is scheduled to take place on March 11. This is done while the court considers the motion that has been put on notice.

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