Rivers State governor Mr. Nyesom Wike has asked the Abuja division of the Federal High Court to dismiss the suit seeking to disqualify him from contesting the March 2, 2019, governorship election in Rivers State.
Governor Wike’s request was contained in a counter-affidavit he filed in response to a suit by Elvis Chinda seeking to disqualify him and a preliminary objection challenging the main suit.
The plaintiff, Elvis Chinda, had in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1430/3018, filed on November, 26, 2018, prayed the court to disqualify Governor Wike who is seeking re-election on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
In the document filed in court, the plaintiff averred that Wike’s certificate of birth presented to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for his clearance and eventual nomination for March 2, election was forged.
According to Chinda’s deposition “Wike breached the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) in his deposition titled: “Affidavit in Support of Personal Particulars of Persons Seeking Election to the Office /Membership of Governor (Form C. F. 001)on October 29, 2018, sworn to at the High Court Registry, Port Harcourt, which he submitted to INEC on the November 2, 2018, for the 2019 governorship election.”
The plaintiff had prayed that except an order is made to disqualify Gov Wike from contesting the election scheduled for March this year, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) the 1st defendant will not be in a position to enforce the violation of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) committed by Wike.
When the matter came up before Justice Inyang Ekwo for hearing, the plaintiff’s lawyer, Achinike William-Wobodo, informed that although the matter was for hearing, Governor Wike and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) the 2nd and 3rd defendants respectively served him with processes and he needed to further reply to them.
Responding, Wike’s lawyer, Ferdinand Orbih, applied to regularise the processes, he had filed which were out of time. The application was not opposed by the plaintiff’s counsel and the judge granted the request as prayed.
Plaintiff counsel, William-Wobodo, further informed the court that his client had filed an affidavit of facts which should be taken.
But Justice Ekwo observed that there was no such application before the court. He said if the plaintiff had deposed to an affidavit of facts, the counsel knows the proper procedure to adopt for his complaint to be heard.
Justice Ekwo therefore, adjourned the matter to February 25, to enable the plaintiff’s counsel to response to Wike’s counter affidavit.