The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed the suit filed by Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State challenging the authority of the state governorship election tribunal to sit in Abuja and hear the petition of Dakuku Peterside, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
In his argument, Wike had argued that the tribunal sitting in Abuja had no jurisdiction over matters that transpired in the state, contending that the tribunal should have sat in Rivers State and not Abuja.
He also challenged the failure of the president of the Court of Appeal to consult the Rivers State Chief Judge and president of the Customary Court of Appeal before constituting the tribunal.
The tribunal was moved to Abuja on the ground of security concerns, like those of Akwa Ibom, Yobe, Adamawa and Borno.
The appeal court had earlier ruled that the tribunal could sit in Abuja to handle Rivers election petitions.
On Saturday, the tribunal sacked Wike, and ordered a rerun, saying the election that brought him to office was marred by irregularities.
Wike condemned the tribunal’s ruling, saying the ruling was hasty as the Supreme Court was about to decide on the jurisdiction suit on Tuesday.
The Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that president of the Court of Appeal had the powers to transfer the sitting of the tribunal to Abuja to safeguard the lives of the judges and their staff.
The Supreme Court also ruled that in view of the fact that Rivers State had no Chief Judge or Customary Court of Appeal, it would have been impossible for the president to have consulted them before the constitution of the tribunal.
The court unanimously held that based on the doctrine of necessity the President Court of Appeal acted in right.