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Monday, March 4, 2024

‘An elephant out of the way,’ says Governor Fubara of Supreme Court ruling

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Governor Siminalayi Fubara of Rivers State has described the validation of his election by the Supreme Court as a victory for the state.

The Supreme Court on Thursday confirmed Fubara’s election.

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A five-member panel of judges headed by Ibrahim Saulawa dismissed the appeal filed by the Rivers governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Tonye Cole.

INEC had declared Mr Fubara the winner of the gubernatorial election, having polled a total of 302,614 votes to defeat his closest rival, Mr Cole, who polled 95,274 votes.

But Cole, not satisfied with the outcome of the election, filed a petition with the election court demanding that the result be invalidated. He lost in court.

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He also lost in the Court of Appeal before going to the Supreme Court.

Addressing reporters after the court ruling, Fubara said his victory has put an end to the legal battles that added to the distractions his administration had to deal with over the past eight months.

“This is a victory for the entire state,” the governor’s spokesman, Boniface Onyedi, said in a statement Thursday.

“It is important for us to note that we need this victory to solidify the purpose of governance. Before, we’ve had some distractions here and there.

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READ ALSO: Police speak out on Rivers crisis, remain silent on attack on Governor Fubara

“And the good news we received this morning is a refreshing strength that will encourage us to continue the good works in governance.

“We will address our state very soon about victory, but for now, let everyone be happy that an elephant is out of the way,” Fubara said.

Reportedly referring to the dispute with his predecessor, Nyesom Wike, the governor said: “The other, with the help of God, will be resolved amicably and the family will be one.”

Messrs Fubara and Wike have been at loggerheads since last October when some state assembly legislators loyal to Wike attempted to oust Fubara.

The legislators subsequently defected to the APC, prompting a four-member assembly, backed by Governor Fubara, to declare their seats vacant.

President Bola Tinubu subsequently intervened and negotiated a controversial peace deal that many believed was not only one-sided in favor of Wike but was a violation of the constitution.

Despite the criticism that followed the peace agreement, Governor Fubara said he would implement it and that it was not a “death sentence.”

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