No fewer than 100 pro-democracy groups have welcomed the Appeal Court ruling that affirmed Siminalayi Fubara as the Governor of Rivers State.
In a statement signed by its spokesman, Barrister Francis Nwogu, the coalition said the verdict proved that Fubara was indeed the popular choice of the electorates, hence will defend the mandate given to him by his people.
The Court, in a unanimous decision, affirmed the judgment of the election tribunal, dismissing four separate appeals filed by Tonye Cole of All Progressives Congress (APC), Beatrice Itubo of the Labour Party (LP), Innocent Ekwu of the Allied People’s Movement (APM), and Lulu Briggs Dumo of the Accord Party.
The APC candidate wanted the court to direct the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to declare him the winner of the March governorship election in Rivers.
The Rivers State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal had in October dismissed the petition of Cole challenging the election of Fubara as the governor of the state.
In reaction, Nwogu said the judgement has again legitimised Fubara’s administration and set the tone for an economic boom in Rivers.
He noted that the victory is a testament to the governor’s dedication, vision, and unwavering commitment to the people of Rivers State.
The statement said: “This outcome has laid credence to the Rivers State Elections Petition Tribunal which was also in Fubara’s favor. We appreciate the due diligence done by the judiciary in arriving at this conclusion.
“This affirmation of the victory is a pointer that the judicial system in our country has evolved, and can be trusted and relied upon. Not only that, the judicial process was thorough and deep, as all the issues were delved into without leaving any stone unturned.
“The justices stood against every attempt to induce them. Some powerful forces even resorted to blackmail, intimidation, and campaign of calumny but that too didn’t work because today the judiciary has proven to be the last hope of the common man.
“We want to use this medium to charge Governor Fubara to sustain his early momentum. We understand that there are obstacles on the way. However, we are confident that he will surmount them all”.