The Rivers State Governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the 2023 election, Tonye Cole, has appealed the judgment of the state election petition tribunal which upheld the victory of Governor Siminalayi Fubara, expressing the hope that the Appeal Court will overturn the judgment.
The state APC spokesperson, Darlington Nwauju, confirmed this while speaking with newsmen in Port Harcourt on Tuesday.
Nwauju said the records of the appeal have been compiled and transmitted to the appropriate quarters and a suit number allocated.
He stated, “I can confirm to the media today, October 24, 2023, that our governorship candidate, Pastor Tonye Cole, has entered an appeal against the ruling of the Governorship and National Assembly Tribunal for Rivers State.
“The records of this particular matter have been compiled and transmitted and the suit number allocated. The suit number is CA/ABJ/EP/Gov/RV/121/2023.
“We do pray and hope that the Court of Appeal and indeed the judiciary will be able to serve justice to the people of Rivers State and to the memories of all those who were killed for their political belief for following and supporting the APC in Rivers State.
“We pray we will get justice from the court and as a law-abiding political party, we will always abide by the decisions of the court.”
He however faulted some of the grounds by which the tribunal dismissed the petition brought before it, saying they neither made sense nor complied with the provisions of the Electoral Act.
Nwauju said, “We want to draw attention to the fact that some of the grounds for dismissing the petition that was entered at the tribunal which was the court of first instance are grossly unacceptable and do not make sense even to the common man, giving the facts that the Constitution has clearly and indeed the Electoral Act, Section 133 Subsection 1 has given fillip to candidates of political parties to challenge outcomes of electoral matters.
“And they do have an independent right different from that of political parties. So the tribunal that sat over our case told Nigerians that Tonye Cole does not have the right to challenge the outcome of the governorship election in Rivers State.”
He added that this is contrary to what the Electoral Act 2022 as amended has said in black and white, among the examples, saying “We do hope and pray to get justice served.”