The Supreme Court on Thursday affirmed the election of Governor Siminalayi Fubara of Rivers State.

The apex court, in a unanimous decision by a five-member panel led by Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, dismissed as lacking in merit an appeal filed by the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Tonye Cole, to challenge the outcome of the governorship election that held in the state on March 18, 2023.

In the lead judgement that was delivered by Justice Ibrahim Saulawa, the apex court said it found no reason to dislodge the concurrent verdicts of the Court of Appeal and the Rivers State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal, which upheld Fubara’s victory at the poll.

The court held that Cole did not establish that the election was not conducted in compliance with provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022.

INEC had declared that Fubara of the PDP polled a total of 302,614 votes to defeat his closets rival, Cole of the APC who got a total of 95,274 votes.

Dissatisfied with the outcome of the poll, Cole approached the tribunal to challenge it.

The appellant, among other things, alleged that the Rivers State governorship poll was marred by corrupt practices, insisting that it was not conducted in substantial compliance with provisions of the Electoral Act 2022.

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More so, Cole, alleged that Fubara did not validly resign his previous position as required by the law, before the election held.

He alleged that Fubara continued to sign documents as the Accountant-General of Rivers State, even after he was nominated as the candidate of the PDP for the governorship election.

Consequently, he urged the tribunal to nullify the Certificate of Return that was issued to Fubara and declare that he was not the bonafide winner of the election.

Cole further prayed the tribunal to declare that he was the authentic winner of the gubernatorial contest.

However, both the tribunal and the Court of Appeal dismissed his case for lack of merit.

The Supreme Court had earlier dismissed a separate appeal that was entered against Fubara by the candidate of the Allied People’s Movement, APM, in the election, Innocent Kere.

The appeal was dismissed after the Appellants, through their lawyer, applied to withdraw the case.