The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Tuesday formally closed its defense at the Rivers State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in defending its participation in the 2015 Rivers election. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that some of the witnesses brought by the INEC were presiding officers and electoral officers from different polling units in different local government areas in the state. A total of 16 witnesses from different local government areas of the state had been presented to testify. The APC and its candidate, Dakuku Peterside, the petitioners had approached the Justice Suleiman Ambursa led three-man panel seeking for the nullification of the election of Nyesom Wike.
The petitioners are also challenging the conduct of INEC and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the election. They were seeking for the nullification on the ground that the election was marred by irregularities and fraudulent practices. Counsel to the INEC, Onyechi Ikpeazu told the tribunal chairman that his client had exhausted its defense and therefore decided to bring proceedings to a close. According to him, the witnesses presented and the documents tendered have proved that the elections were held peacefully in line with the Electoral Act and INEC guidelines.
The tribunal Chairman adjourned sitting to Wednesday for Wike to open his defense.