Court Rejects Labour Party’s Bid for Fresh Elections in Rivers House of Assembly

By Milcah Tanimu

The Federal High Court in Abuja has dismissed a suit brought by the Labour Party (LP) seeking to compel the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct new elections for the seats of defected lawmakers in the Rivers House of Assembly.

Justice James Omotosho struck out the suit following the LP’s request to withdraw it. The LP had sought the court’s intervention to mandate INEC to conduct fresh elections for the seats vacated by lawmakers who defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

INEC, represented by Victor Giwa, opposed the suit, arguing that it was frivolous and incompetent. Giwa asserted that the LP lacked the legal standing and territorial jurisdiction to file the suit, highlighting a similar ongoing case in a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt.

After INEC’s objection, the LP opted to withdraw its suit. The court granted the withdrawal but ordered the LP to pay a fine of N50,000 to INEC.

The defendants in the suit included Governor Siminalayi Fubara, Dumle Maol, Major Jack, Franklin Uchenna Nwabochi, Christopher Ofiks, and several others.

This decision marks a conclusion to the LP’s attempt to compel INEC to conduct fresh elections for the vacant seats in the Rivers House of Assembly, a move that has been met with legal hurdles and opposition from the electoral commission.


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