The Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State, has ruled that the State's recent local government elections are invalid. The elections were held on May 23rd, one week before former Rotimi Amaechi’s term as governor ended.
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) boycotted the election on account of a court injunction ordering that the status quo be maintained.
In a judgment handed down by Justice Lambo Akanbi, the elected officials were effectively sacked. The Court found the election illegal since it was held in disobedience of the injunction.
Former Governor Rotimi Amaechi’s party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), won 22 of the 23 chairmanship seats in the elections. The party also won 297 council seats in the 302 local government wards, while other political parties won the rest. The PDP then filed a lawsuit with the High Court to declare the conduct of the elections illegal and invalid.
Justice Akanbi stated that conducting the elections in the face of the court order was a demonstration of executive lawlessness and impunity.
In response to the ruling APC loyalists caused a commotion on the Federal High Court's premises on Thursday morning.
The police in the area foiled an attempt by some arsonists to raze the Court. Police spokesperson Muhammed Ahmad said that an investigation into the incident had commenced.