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Election Tribunal: Parties To Adopt Final Addresses Sept. 28

Parties in the suit over legitimate winner of Akuku-Toru/Asari-Toru Federal Constituency election are to adopt final written addresses September 28 before Rivers State National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal in Port-Harcourt.

Parties in the suit over legitimate winner of Akuku-Toru/Asari-Toru Federal Constituency election are to adopt final written addresses September 28 before Rivers State National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal in Port-Harcourt.

Parties in the suit expected to use their final written addresses as final legal argument on the case include counsels to Independent National Electoral Commission, Peoples Democratic Party and All Progressives Grand Alliance and its candidate as well as counsel to the current occupant of Akuku-Toru/Asari-Toru Federal Constituency seat in House of Representatives.

The candidate of the All Progressives' Grand Alliance, Mr. Sunny Amachree, filed a petition at the Rivers State National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal to contest the victory of Hon. Boma Goodhead in the Akuku-Toru/Asari-Toru Federal Constituency election which held in Rivers State February 23rd.

Counsel to Peoples Democratic Party, Ahmed Raji and the counsel to All Progressives' Grand Alliance and its candidate, Bisi Afolabi as well as that of winner of the election and Independent National Electoral Commission are expected to adopt their final written addresses on September 28.

The tribunal adjourned to September 28 for adoption of final written addresses after the day's proceedings last Thursday.

The four counsels – for Peoples Democratic Party, winner of the election, Hon Boma Goodhead, Independent National Electoral Commission and All Progressives' Grand Alliance – will adopt their final written addresses on the adjourned date in which they will use the addresses as final legal argument on the case. The tribunal will then adjourn to a further date to give its judgement.

Counsel to Peoples Democratic Party, Ahmed Raji, speaking in an interview at the end of sitting on Thursday said he was “comfortable” with the proceedings saying Peoples Democratic Party had “rested” or closed its case.

He said he would not “talk much” about the case until after judgement would be given saying that they would need to “leave” judges to do their work and not “begin to make speeches” as lawyers as though they were the ones to write the judgement.

On his part, counsel to candidate of All Progressives' Grand Alliance and the party itself, Bisi Afolabi, said they sent petition to the tribunal to “ventilate” their grievances on the way the election was conducted on February 23rd.

He said his client actually won the election for Akuku-Toru/Asari-Toru Federal Constituency but was “shortchanged” saying Independent National Electoral Commission ought to have announced him as winner as he “actually won” purportedly having “majority of lawful votes cast” in the election.

Afolabi said the tribunal will “communicate” parties in the petition on date for judgement.

First respondent in the petition by Amachree is Independent National Electoral Commission while second and third respondents respectively are Hon. Goodhead and the Peoples Democratic Party.