In a landmark ruling, the Abuja High Court has dissolved the parallel executive committees (EXCOs) of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State. The court declared that the EXCOs responsible for nominating Siminialayi Fubara as the party’s governorship candidate, in the primary were not the authentic EXCOs recognized by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The case, with suit number W/6084, was brought before the court by Hon. Chimbiko Akarolo and Chief Abiye Davies, who represented the genuine state executive committee members of the Rivers PDP. The defendants named in the case were the PDP, along with Amb. Desmond Akawor and Dr. Benibo George, who were part of the parallel EXCOs falsely presenting themselves as the legitimate representatives, and INEC.
The court’s decision has now raised doubts about the legitimacy of Siminialayi Fubara’s candidacy and his subsequent victory in the March 18 governorship election. The entire process that led to his assumption of office as the Governor of Rivers State has been called into question.
The ruling of the Abuja High Court discrediting the parallel EXCOs has significant implications for the political landscape of Rivers State. Governor Nyesom Wike, who was believed to have been spurring and supporting the parallel EXCOs, may now face challenges regarding the validity of his actions and decisions.
Political analysts and legal experts have voiced concerns over the potential consequences of this judgment. They believe that if the EXCOs responsible for Fubara’s nomination were indeed not the authentic representatives recognized by INEC, his candidacy could be considered illegitimate. This situation could potentially lead to legal disputes and a reevaluation of the governor-elect’s tenure.
As the news of the court ruling spreads, stakeholders within the PDP and the wider political community are closely monitoring the developments. Many are eagerly awaiting further clarification on the implications for the Rivers State government.
The judgment of the Abuja High Court serves as a reminder of the critical role played by INEC in the electoral process and underscores the importance of adhering to due process and established guidelines in selecting candidates for public office. It remains to be seen how this ruling will impact the political landscape of Rivers State and what steps will be taken to address the concerns raised regarding the legitimacy of Governor-Elect Siminialayi Fubara’s candidacy.