Court to hear suit seeking to shift Rivers governorship, Assembly elections today

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 request came in response to a lawsuit filed by Chief Tonte Ibraye, the Africa Democratic Congress’ (ADC) candidate for governor, and the party (ADC), asking for the suspension of the state’s scheduled governorship election on March 11.

Tonte in an ex parte motion in pursuant to Order 26, Rule 1, 2, 3, 6 (1) and 7, Order 28 Rule 1(1) and (2) of the Federal High Court ( Civil Procedure) Rule 2019 of the court, also stated that the new Executive Orders of the Rivers State government negatively impacted the electoral process in the state.

In the lawsuit filed in Abuja on four grounds, the plaintiffs, Chief Tonte Ibraye and ADC, demanded the suspension of the state’s governorship election.

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

READ ALSO:Rivers Police confirm arrest of Reps member with foreign currency

The defendants, including the Peoples Democratic Party (third defendant), INEC (fourth defendant), the Rivers State Governor (first defendant), and the Attorney General of the Rivers State (second defendant), must appear before the court on Wednesday, March 8, at 1 p.m.

The parties were to be present to make their cases for why Saturday’s elections shouldn’t be postponed, according to Mohammed.

The plaintiffs want an order of Interim injunction restraining the first defendant by itself, its representatives, agents, privies and/or anybody, acting through it from further implementation and enforcement of the Executive Order RVSG-21 2022 issued on October 4, 2022 and Executive Order RVsG-22 2022 issued on November 11, 2022 by the first defendant pending the determination of the motion on notice before the court.

Additionally, 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 gubernatorial election scheduled to take place in Rivers State on March 11 while the motion is being considered by the court.

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