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Appeal Court upholds Odiliís re-election

Posted by TONY ITA ETIM, Port Harcourt on 2005/01/28 | Views: 227 |

Appeal Court upholds Odiliís re-election


THE last shred of doubt about whether Gov. Peter Odili of Rivers State won the April 19, 2003 governorship poll in the area was removed yesterday as the Appeal Court sitting in Port Harcourt declared him duly re-elected.

THE last shred of doubt about whether Gov. Peter Odili of Rivers State won the April 19, 2003 governorship poll in the area was removed yesterday as the Appeal Court sitting in Port Harcourt declared him duly re-elected.

The court took the position while delivering judgment in the appeal filed by Odiliís major opponent in the election and All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) candidate, Chief Sergeant Awuse, against the declaration of the governor as re-elected.

Following the Appeal Courtís decision, an obviously elated Gov. Odili called on the ANPP leadership to join hands with his administration to continue to develop the state.

The court verdict, he said, affirmed the choice of Rivers peoples as expressed for him (Odili) on April 19, 2003.

Awuse had gone to the court to challenge the decision of the Justice Tijani Governorship Election Petition Tribunal which had declared Odili duly elected.

At the Appeal Court yesterday, Justice Issah Ayo Salami, reading the lead judgement, upheld the decision of the tribunal.

Justice Salami said the appeal lacked merit and therefore dismissed it without cost.

The lead judgment was unanimously adopted by four other judges who sat alongside Salami.

Before delivering judgment, the court had earlier ruled on an interlocutory appeal by Awuse seeking for time to file certain matters.

The court, however, ruled that it cannot entertain such an appeal and struck it out on the grounds that it was incompetent.

In his reaction, Odili said "the decision of the Court of Appeal is a clear vindication that the decision of the Rivers people had been sustained."

He added that nobody should have a sense of enstrangement as due process has confirmed his party, the Peoples Democratic Partyís (PDP) victory and urged those who lost the appeal to feel free to join hands with the government in the development of the state.

Odili, who thanked God for the victory, insisted that it was for the people of the state and had brought a sense of fulfillment to the people.

State PDP chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, in his own reaction, said the decision of the Appeal Court had confirmed the voice and mandate of Rivers people for Odili.

Secondus, who later led supporters on a victory walk from the court premises to Government House, also described the verdict as a landmark judgement with no dissenting voice.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.