PORT HARCOURT – Governor Nyesom Wike of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Rivers State is in clear lead in the governorship election conducted in the state as the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, resumed re-collation of results. At the time INEC suspended collation yesterday, Wike had polled 426, 279 votes in the results of
PORT HARCOURT – Governor Nyesom Wike of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Rivers State is in clear lead in the governorship election conducted in the state as the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, resumed re-collation of results.
At the time INEC suspended collation yesterday, Wike had polled 426, 279 votes in the results of 15 Local Government Areas, LGAs, announced. He was leading with 290,000 votes.
His closest rival, Mr. Biokpomabo Awara, of the African Action Congress, AAC, had 129,855 votes.
Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, in the state, Mr. Obo Effanga, said collation would continue at 10 am today.
The results of two more LGAs would be announced today, while supplementary election would hold across six LGAs on April 13.
The commission had said it had results of 17 local governments in its custody, adding that six LGAs were yet to be collated.
When the process resumed yesterday, the electoral umpire commenced with re-collation of the LGAs of already collated.
From the results of 15 LGAs re-collated, Wike won in 13, while Awara won in two LGAs.
Earlier, yesterday, a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja gave INEC, the nod to proceed with the collation of results of the elections.
The court, in a judgment by Justice Inyang Ekwo, dismissed the suit that was lodged by Awara of the AAC and Dr. Ben Peter.
Justice Ekwo agreed with the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, that the court lacked the requisite jurisdiction to entertain the suit.
The court stressed that the suit being a post-election matter could only be entertained by an election petition tribunal.
Meanwhile, PDP has hailed the court for throwing out the suit instituted by AAC.
In a statement by PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party described the ruling as “the triumph of the will of the people of Rivers State, who freely gave their mandate to Wike.”
The party further said: “The court ruling rekindles the hope by Nigerians on the capacity of the judiciary to uphold the will of the people, particularly, in the overall quest by Nigerians to reclaim the presidential mandate, which they freely gave to the PDP candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
“The party notes that the sweeping victory being recorded by Governor Wike, even in areas hitherto considered as opposition fortresses, clearly exposes the reason behind the All Progressives Congress, APC’s desperation to scuttle the collation process.
“The PDP notes that it has a water-tight case against the APC and President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, for which majority of Nigerians, across the board, are in high spirit that the stolen mandate would be recovered at the Tribunal.
“The PDP, therefore, charges INEC to ensure that nothing encumbers the conclusion of the collation process and announcement of Governor Wike as the rightful winner of the Rivers governorship election.
“The party also directs its members and supporters in Rivers state to continue to be at alert to forestall any attempt by anti-democratic forces, working for the APC, to disrupt the exercise.”