Rivers Governorship Tribunal: Appeal Court dismisses Awara’s suit

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The Election Petition Appeal Court panel sitting in Port Harcourt has dismissed an appeal by the Governorship Candidate of the African Action Congress, Biokpomabo Awara against the ruling of the tribunal on the issue of legal representation.

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Awara through his counsel Tawo E. Tawo, SAN, had approached the Appeal Court to challenge the ruling of tribunal, which empowered Henry Bello to represent the AAC for the governorship election petition in Rivers State.

But the five man panel of the Appeal Court, led by Justice J.O Bada in a unanimous ruling dismissed the appeal, stating that the AAC had right to change its counsel based on the judgement of Federal High Court which recognized Leonard Nzenwa as the National Chairman of the party.

DAILY POST reports that the Election Petition Appeal Court panel also awarded the sum of fifty thousand naira in favour of counsel to AAC, Henry Bello.

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Speaking to newsmen outside the court, one of the counsels to AAC governorship candidate, David Adebe said they will study the ruling and decide on the next line of action.

“The Court just decided our application in CA/PH/356/2019 which in their opinion said they do not agree with our view.

“We will go back and consult with our clients to decide on the way forward because we feel very strongly that the 4th Alteration of the Electoral Act has actually taken care of the major ground upon which the matter was said to be dismissed which is that Leave is no longer a requirement before you can Appeal in an Election petition Tribunal,” he said.

On their part, one of the legal representatives of AAC, Henry Aleruchi and counsel representing Rivers State Governor, Mark Agwu described the ruling as a welcome development.