Tonye Cole denies withdrawing petition challenging Fubara’s election

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Tonye Cole, the Gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Rivers State says he has not withdrawn his petition at the state’s election tribunal.

The All Progressives Congress had on Monday withdrew from the suit challenging Siminialayi Fubara’s election.

Following the withdrawal, the Rivers State Election Petition Tribunal struck out the petition filed by the party.

At Tribunal’s Monday sitting, the APC filed an application for change of counsel in their petition against the PDP and its candidate.

When the matter commenced, counsel for the APC, Solomon Umoh told the Tribunal that he would be taking over as counsel for the party following a motion for change of counsel before the tribunal.

Umoh also told the court that his clients would like their names to be struck out from the petition as applicants.

Jibrin Okutepa, who was the former counsel for Cole and the APC, told the Tribunal that he was not briefed on the new development by the party.

The three-man panel led by Justice Cletus Emifoniye, however, granted the application for change of counsel and also granted the motion as prayed by striking out the name of APC as a petitioner.

The APC’s withdrawal was brought pursuant to order 9 rule 15 of the Federal High Court Civil Procedure Rules 2019.

One of the grounds for the application amongst others is that “there is the need to seek the leave of this Honourable Tribunal to strike out the name of the 2nd petitioner/applicant, as the applicant has no intention to participate in this petition.”

No date has been fixed for the commencement of the pre-hearing of applications before the Tribunal.

But speaking on the development on Tuesday, Cole said “I wish to formally denounce the false rumors that have been circulating regarding our petition against the results from the Rivers State governorship election.

“I want to assure you that our petition remains firm and steadfast, and we will not waiver in our pursuit of justice.

“Despite attempts to undermine our efforts, I want to emphasize that we are working tirelessly to ensure that our voices are heard. We remain undeterred and resolute in our efforts to fight for what is right until justice is served”