Rivers State House of Assembly has expressed delight with the verdict of the governorship election tribunal, Port Harcourt, which dismissed the petition filed by the African Action Congress (AAC) governorship candidate in the 2019 election, Biokpomabo Awara, against Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Governor Nyesom Wike and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The tribunal, presided over by Justice K. A. Orjiako, had on Monday, dismissed the petition on the ground that it was deemed abandoned on paragraph four of the First Schedule of the Electoral Act.
Briefing journalists, yesterday, in Port Harcourt, Speaker Ikuinyi-Owaji Ibani, alongside principal officers of the House, described the verdict as landmark, saying it was a victory to Rivers people.
Ibani said the judgment was a reaffirmation of overwhelming mandate given to Govenor Wike by Rivers people, in the March 2019 governorship election in the state.
“It is our assertion that the quality leadership the people are experiencing in governance from His Excellency, in terms of infrastructural, human, economic and social development, truly deserves such reciprocal gesture and support from the people of the state for more successes to be recorded.
“The House of Assembly wishes to restate its commitment and readiness to give full support to the governor in his drive to deliver on campaign promises made to the people.”
The speaker dismissed the insinuation that the House of Assembly is a ‘rubber stamp’, maintaining that the House, from the eighth Assembly till the present dispensation, has operated independently.
“If you witnessed what we do here and even in the eighth Assembly, you would find out that we carry out our legislative duties in the way and manner we are supposed to. We are up and doing. We know what we are doing.
“There is no external influence in terms of the deliverables of what we do. But, one thing I would like you to understand is that the separation of powers as enunciated by a philosopher, did not mention a watertight division or separation.
“It does not also envisage conflict among the arms of government. Rather, it is that of cooperation, so that a situation where the Assembly is cooperating with the executive arm of the government for the dividends of democracy to be felt by the people, should not been seen as rubber stamp,” Owaji said.