The Supreme Court today, Thursday June 20, 2019, struck out an appeal brought before it by one Precious Baridoo against the 29/04/19 judgement of the Court of Appeal given in favour of Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs as the Rivers State governorship candidate of the Accord in the just concluded 2019 elections.
A statement issued and signed by Sotonye Ijuye-Dagogo, Director of Communications, DLB Campaign Organization and released to the press on 20/06/19, reads thus:
“The case came up last Thursday June 13, 2019 at the apex court for the motion of abridgement of time and accelerated hearing which was granted and the counsel asked to come today the 20th instant to adopt their briefs and argue their cases.
“When the case was called today, the lawyer to Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs, Wilcox A. Abereton SAN requested the court to ask Mr. Baridoo what he stands to benefit from the case, considering that he did not contest the primaries of the party and also did not contest the governorship election, having openly withdrawn and endorsed the then incumbent, Governor Nyesom Wike.
“Wilcox Abereton SAN argued that Baridoo’s appeal was an abuse of court process and a waste of time of the court, saying that Mr. Baridoo has nothing to lose in the matter except to waste the time of the court.
“When asked, the lawyer to Baridoo said they were in court just to set the records straight, an answer which drew the anger of the Supreme Court judges. They said the court is not here to settle intra-party matters but to determine who is the Rivers State Governorship candidate of Accord party and if the Court of Appeal has given its ruling what benefit would he (Baridoo) get if the Supreme Court rules in his favour, having not contested the election.
“The Supreme Court judges said that the court is not created for academic exercises and advised Baridoo and his lawyer to go to the University of Abuja to pursue academics if they so desire because the Supreme Court is for serious business.
“Baridoo was urged not to waste the time of the court and advised to withdraw the appeal otherwise they would enter judgement against him with costs of over N10million. At this point Baridoo’s lawyer quickly apologized to the court and withdrew the appeal. The Supreme Court therefore struck out the appeal”
“Political watchers wonder why the sponsors of Mr. Precious Baridoo dragged this matter up to the Supreme Court, considering that the peace-loving Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs did not even file a petition against Gov. Nyesom Wike at the Rivers State Governorship Tribunal. The only reason they say, is that Governor Wike as a shrewd politician, is merely being proactive, in case he loses his election at the courts, he would want a re-run with political lightweights and not a man of Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs’ status,” the statement concluded.
Recall that the Court of Appeal sitting in Port Harcourt, had on April 29, given judgment in favour of Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs, confirming him as the authentic and substantive ACCORD gubernatorial candidate in the 2019 Rivers State Governorship election.
The Port Harcourt Appellate Court judgment had come on the heels of an earlier ruling by the Court of Appeal in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, in March, which had granted the application for a stay of execution brought by Dumo Lulu-Briggs, to challenge the pronouncement of Justice Obili of the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt, which ruled that one Precious Baridoo and not Dumo Lulu-Briggs was the Rivers State governorship candidate of Accord.
Citing the 4th Alteration of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Court, in a very short Judgment on the appeal CA/120/2019 brought by Chief Dumo Lulu -Briggs, held that the Federal High Court did not have the jurisdiction to hear the matter because it was statute barred having been filed 20 days after the statutory period of 14 days stipulated by the Electoral Law had elapsed.
Precious Baridoo had then mischievously approached the Supreme Court to contest that ruling of the Port Harcourt Appeal Court, which fully restored Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs as the legitimate Accord governorship candidate, but with the final dismissal of his appeal by the highest Court in the land, the peace-loving Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs has now been affirmed beyond any further doubts, as the true and authentic ACCORD Governorship candidate for the 2019 Rivers State gubernatorial election