Supreme court dismisses Tonye Cole’s appeal, affirms Fubara as Rivers state governor

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Supreme court dismisses Tonye Cole’s appeal, affirms Fubara as Rivers state governor
Supreme court dismisses Tonye Cole’s appeal, affirms Fubara as Rivers state governor

The Supreme Court has dismissed the appeal by Tonye Cole, governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), challenging the election of Siminalayi Fubara as Rivers state governor.

A five-member panel of the court led by Ibrahim Saulawa dismissed the appeal on Thursday for lacking merit.

The court held that the appellants failed to prove the issues bordering on non-compliance with the Electoral Act.

Fubara of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was declared winner of the governorship election after he scored 302,614 votes to defeat his closest challenger, Cole, who polled 95,274 votes.

Displeased with the outcome of the election, Cole approached the tribunal to nullify Fubara’s victory and declare him winner.

Cole contended that the election was marred by irregularities, non-compliance with the Electoral Act and that Fubara did not resign from office as Rivers state accountant-general before the election — as required by the constitution.

In October, the tribunal dismissed Cole’s petition, saying the party that sponsored him had withdrawn its suit.
The court of appeal also dismissed the appeal and affirmed Fubara’s victory.

On January 15, the supreme court also dismissed an appeal by Innocent Kere, candidate of the Allied Peoples Movement (APM), after his lawyer applied to withdraw it.