Justice Ahiakwo Advocates for Fresh Elections in Rivers State Amidst Political Crisis

In the wake of the political turmoil in Rivers State, Calabar-based lawyer Justice Osai Ahiakwo is urging the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a new election for the 27 vacant seats in the Rivers State House of Assembly. This call follows the recent defection of lawmakers from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Speaking in an interview, Justice Ahiakwo emphasized the need for interested parties to initiate proceedings and apply to INEC for a fresh election. He commended President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for his intervention, characterizing it as a bold step towards utilizing alternative dispute-resolution mechanisms to encourage the conflicting parties to resolve their differences.

Ahiakwo asserted that President Tinubu’s intervention aligns with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended). He advised the involved parties to withdraw all pending court cases, emphasizing that doing so would effectively put an end to the contentious issues currently before the courts.

He clarified that no final judgments have been delivered in the pending cases, describing the court’s previous actions as interlocutory orders. Ahiakwo stressed the importance of accepting the withdrawal of cases, asserting that non-litigants lacking locus standi cannot surpass the interests of those directly involved.

As Rivers State continues to grapple with political uncertainties, Justice Ahiakwo’s call for fresh elections emphasizes the importance of a legal and constitutional resolution to address the power struggle in the state.

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