The All Progressive Congress (APC)’s case was dismissed by the Rivers State Election case Tribunal after the party’s counsel withdrew it.
With this withdrawal, the lone petitioner against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and its candidate, Fubara Siminalayi, is the APC’s Tonye Cole, who is running for governor.
Siminalayi’s victory in the state’s March gubernatorial election is being contested by Cole.
Dramatic events occurred in the Tribunal when the APC submitted a request for a new attorney to represent them in their lawsuit against the PDP and its candidate.
Solomon Umoh, the APC’s attorney, informed the Tribunal at the beginning of the case that he would take over as the party’s attorney after a move for change.
Umoh also told the court that his clients would like their names to be struck out from the petition as applicants.
Jibrin Okutepa, who was the former counsel for Cole and the APC, told the Tribunal that he was not briefed on the new development by the party.
The three-man panel led by Justice Cletus Emifoniye, however, granted the application for change of counsel and also granted the motion as prayed by striking out the name of APC as a petitioner.
The APC’s withdrawal was brought pursuant to order 9 rule 15 of the Federal High Court Civil Procedure Rules 2019.
One of the grounds for the application amongst others is that “there is the need to seek the leave of this Honourable Tribunal to strike out the name of the 2nd petitioner/applicant, as the applicant has no intention to participate in this petition.”
No date has been fixed for the commencement of the pre-hearing of applications before the Tribunal.