Latest results for the governorship and state parliamentary elections held in Rivers State on March 9 show that the incumbent governor and governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Mr. Nyesom Wike made a clean sweep in eight local government areas declared so far.

The candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC), Mr. Biokpomabo Awara, who is backed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) won in two.

Wike, according to the results rolled out by INEC led with 249,397 votes while Awara trailed behind with 108,886 votes in the results collated so far from 10 of the 17 local government areas.

The local government areas are Port Harcourt City, Ikwere, Andoni, Oyibo, Eleme, Opobo-Nkoro, Bonny, Okirika, Akuku-Toru and Omuma.

The biggest winning margin so far was reflected in the results from Andoni where Wike polled 92, 056 votes to Awara’s 5, 335.

It would be recalled that the commission last week fixed April 2-5 for resumption of collation of results of the last governorship and state Assembly elections.

The state has 23 local government areas, but the commission said only 17 have results ready.

The contest is a battle between the PDP and the AAC.

Meanwhile, the national commissioner supervising Bayelsa, Edo and Rivers States, Mrs. May Agbamuche-Mbu, said in Port Harcourt on Tuesday that the collation process will be fair, credible and peaceful.

“In view of that incident on the March 10 collation, the commission set up a five-man fact-finding committee to verify the nature and obstructive activities that generally attended the election at the collation centre.

“I wish to assure you of our commitment to free and credible process in completing this collation,” she said.

The collation is held amidst the ruling of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, which on Tuesday directed INEC to proceed with the collation of the results.

The court, in a judgment delivered by Justice Inyang Ekwo, dismissed the suit filed by the AAC, its governorship candidate in the state, Mr. Biokpomabo Awara and Dr. Ben Gurion John Peter.

The judge agreed with the PDP that the court lacked the requisite jurisdiction to entertain the suit.

He said the suit being a post-election matter, could only be entertained by an election petition tribunal.

The court held that the suit was an attempt by the plaintiffs to constitute the court to an election petition tribunal.

The court therefore upheld PDP’s preliminary objection and dismissed the suit for want of merit.

The plaintiffs had in their suit marked FHC/ ABJ/CS/303/2019, prayed the court for an order “restraining the 1st Respondent (INEC) from further action in any manner whatsoever, including the counting/collation of votes, declaration and return of any candidate in the gubernatorial and Houses of Assembly elections of March 9, 2019, in Rivers State, pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice”.

They anchored the request on section 36 of the 1999 Constitution, section 26(5) of the Electoral Act, 2010, as well as Order 46 Rule 5 of the Federal High Court Civil Procedure Rules 2009.

Listing the grounds upon which the application was brought, the plaintiff, told the court that, “The 1st Respondent (INEC) had earlier admitted that the election in Rivers State was marred with substantial violence that compromised the credibility of the entire process thereby suspending the election.

“Without calling for a fresh election, the 1st Respondent has announced via a press release that it is now set to continue with the election from this Wednesday, 20th March 2019”.

They urged the court to abridge the time within which the parties should file their processes for the matter to be heard.