The Rivers State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja on Thursday granted the requests of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its gubernatorial candidate in the April 11, 2015, election, Dr Peterside Dakuku, to inspect election materials used to conduct the election.
The petitioners had approached the Tribunal to challenge Wike’s victory at the April 11 election declared by INEC and joined INEC, PDP and Wike as co-respondents in the suit.
Delivering a short ruling, the Tribunal Chairman, Justice Muazu Pindiga, granted the requests of the petitioners.
Pindiga also ordered the applicants to put the respondents on notice on the request to conduct a forensic analysis on the computers and computer servers which were used for the conduct of the election.
The applicants had through their counsel, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN, sought the leave of the court to order the inspection of electoral materials used for the election.
In their motion ex-parte dated June 3 and filed on June 8, they prayed the Tribunal to grant an order allowing the inspection of the electoral materials related to the conduct of the gubernatorial elections.
They had also urged the Tribunal to grant an order for the inspection of Card Readers and records of electoral materials used in all the polling units in the state.
It would be recalled that the Tribunal had at its inaugural sitting last month ordered that the governor be served with the court summon through substituted means following Akeredolu’s application to that effect and arguing that he was unable to serve Wike.
Akeredolu had claimed in the ex-parte application that the court bailiff had on several occasions visited the house of Wike to effect service on him but was on all the occasions turned back at the gate by the governor’s agents upon discovery that he was a court bailiff.
In an affidavit of evidence deposed to by the bailiff and tendered by the petitioner, Akeredolu submitted that neither the governor nor his agent was ready to receive any court process from anybody.
He had therefore urged the Tribunal to allow him paste the process on the wall of Wike’s house in the interest of justice and to avoid unnecessary delay of proceedings.
Pindiga had ordered that substituted service be effected on Wike, either by pasting the court process on his residential gate or at the office of the PDP secretariat in Rivers state or in Abuja.