The embattled Governor of Ondo State, Olusegun Mimiko, yesterday boasted that if the disputed gubernatorial election in Rivers State was conducted "100 times" the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would still emerge victorious.
Governor Mimiko made his statement in Akure, the Ondo State capital, during a speech reacting to the Rivers State Election Petition Tribunal’s Saturday judgement nullifying the election victory of Governor Nyesom Wike.
Governor Mimiko, who is also the Chairman of the PDP Governor's Forum, accused the three-man tribunal panel of issuing a hasty judgement. Specifically he cited the decision to announce a ruling on the election, without waiting for a decision by the Supreme Court on the issue of jurisdiction.
Last week, the PDP submitted a petition questioning the jurisdiction of the Election Tribunal as it conducted its review of the election results in Abuja rather than the Rivers State capital of Port Harcourt.
Governor Mimiko added that he found the ruling “embarrassing” as it was issued less than 48 hours after both parties submitted their written addresses to the court.
He drew attention to the one hundred witnesses, and one thousand documents reviewed by the Election Tribunal. He expressed disbelief that the Election Tribunal could have adequately reviewed these witnesses and documents within 48 hours.
It should be recalled, that observers in the election, including journalists, criticised the pre and post-election violence witnessed during the Rivers State Governorship poll. On Saturday the three-man Election Petition Tribunal in Abuja, removed Nyesom Wike as Governor of Rivers State, and ordered a fresh poll in the State.