The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom has lost two federal constituency seats as the Election Petition Tribunal 11 sitting in Uyo on Wednesday delivered judgment in favour of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Seats lost to the PDP were that of Abak/Etim Ekpo/Ika and Eket federal constituencies for which the tribunal chairman, Justice Jennifer Ijohor declared Aniekan Umanah and Pat Ifon respectively as winners. APC candidate for Abak/Etim Ekpo/Ika federal constituency, Emmanuel Ekon had challenged the victory of Umanah of the PDP while Kufre Akpabio of the APC had also challenged the declaration of Pat Ifon of the PDP for Eket federal constituency.
In their separate motions, the petitioners prayed the court to cancel the elections on the grounds of not being in compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act, nullify the certificate issued to the 1st Respondents as the winner of the February 23 elections or in the alternative.
The court first gave its ruling on a motion filed by the petitioners seeking to foreclose the Respondents from defending the case on grounds that the Respondents made a typographical slip on the process.
The court held that since the court had already determined a motion on that subject by dismissing the petitioners’ application in July 9, 2019, the court could not as now sought by the Petitioner sit on appeal over its decision.
However, the court dismissed the motion of the petitioner and held that the Respondents had a right to defend the case and that they had done so within the limits of the law.
On the merit of the case, the court, after a review of the evidence given by the witnesses and all documents before the court held that the Petitioners did not prove non-compliance with the Electoral Act and further that the non-compliance, assuming the tribunal were to even consider that such was established in any little way, was not sufficient non-compliance such as could substantially affect the results of the elections.
The court held that the evidence of all the witnesses of the Petitioners were insufficient to prove substantial non-compliance which is the only grounds that could lead the court to decide in favour of the Petitioner.
The court held that: “Proving non-compliance would require a unit by unit prove by the petitioner… consequently, the Petitioner’s attempt to use 11 polling unit agents to establish non-compliance in an election that covered over 200 polling units could achieve anything but never a proof for substantial non-compliance with the provisions of the Act”.
Ex-Senate President, Saraki Smiles Again
Senate President of the 8th Assembly, Senator Olubukola Abubakar Saraki, might currently be facing quite a turbulent time. First, it was losing his bid to return to the red chambers during the just concluded general election. Last week, the court declared interim forfeiture of his highbrow properties in Ilorin, alleging it was built with public funds when he was Governor of Kwara.
While the former Governor of Kwara state was still nurturing the verdict of the court injunction on his Ilorin property interim forfeiture, his creator gave him and his household a big reason to smile again.
He was blessed with a gift laced with a title money cannot buy. His eldest daughter, Olutosin Halima Saraki married to Adeniyi Olatunde Olukoya, delivered a bouncing baby girl, penutimate Friday, at a highbrow hospital located in the United Kingdom making him a proud first time grand father.
Society Rendezvous gathered that Dr Bukola and his wife Toyin, immediately jetted down to the UK the next day to see their grand child and also give moral support to the nursing mother. The name of the child is yet to be disclosed as mother and daughter, we gathered are doing good.
Sowore vs DSS: Atiku Blasts Buhari Government
Former Vice President and the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic party(PDP) in 2019 general election, Atiku Abubakar, has lambasted the President Muhammadu Buhari government over the treatment of Omoyele Sowore in court on Friday.
In a statement he signed, Atiku, who called for probe, said he was in extreme anguish of spirit having watched the unfortunate drama that played itself out at the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.
He lamented how Department of State Services (DSS) agents caused a commotion in court in order to frustrate a judgment of a court of competent authority.
He said: “Never in the history of Nigerian democracy has a judge been treated in such a disdainful and brazen attack on not just her person and office, but on the entire judiciary. This is unacceptable. It is a rape on the sanctity of the court.
“Nigeria is not a dictatorship. We are a democracy, no matter how inconvenient this fact is to the powers that have forced themselves on us.
“I call for an immediate inquiry to be set up to identify those responsible for the maltreatment meted out to Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu and the desecration of her court, and indeed the Nigerian judiciary. They must be sanctioned to the highest extent permissible by our laws.
“I further call for all law enforcement agencies in Nigeria to immediately respect not just the court order made by Justice Ojukwu, but the order of any court in Nigeria, on any detainee, be it Omoyele Sowore, Sambo Dasuki or Ibrahim Zakzaky, among others.
“We cannot have a situation where our government is quick to obey foreign court orders and even quicker to disobey domestic court orders. This is symptomatic of a mindset that is servile to foreign powers and brutal to Nigerians.”
Hadiza Usman Petitions IG, DSS Over Attack At NASS
Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman, has petitioned the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu; the Department of State Services (DSS) and others over an attack on her at the National Assembly.
Usman was attacked on December 3 by people suspected to be linked to the chairman of Ocean Maritime Solutions Limited (OMSL), Idahosa Okunbo.
In a petition addressed to the IGP, the Senate President, and DSS Director-General, Usman explained that she was at the Senate on the said date to honour the invitation of the Joint Committee on Navy, Marine Transport and Finance to its public hearing on the Safe Anchorage Area of the Lagos Ports.
Usman’s visit to the Senate followed a motion on “illegal security activities by OMSL at the Safe Anchorage Area of Lagos Ports and the need to investigate their excesses” moved by Senator George Sekibo during plenary on November 7.
She explained that the committee had invited other parties, which included the Nigerian Navy and the OMSL.
“In the course of the session, Captain (Dr) Idahosa Wells Okunbo of OMSL, having made his submission, stormed out visibly angry breathing fire and brimstone. Following Captain Idahosa Wells Okunbo outburst and abrupt exit, the Chairman of the Joint Committee closed the session,” she said in the petition.
Writing further, Usman said: “On leaving the meeting room some hoodlums that accompanied Captain Okunbo to the hearing ambushed me at the exit door and tried to push their way towards me to physically attack me, raining abuses on me that I was taking food away from them and their boss, and that they will find me and destroy me.”
The NPA boss explained that it took the efforts of her security detail and the Executive Director, Marine and Operations of NPA, Dr Sekonte Davies, and security personnel deployed from the office of the Deputy Senate President for her and her entourage to leave the premises unhurt.
While calling for the full investigation of the incident with the intent of bringing the culprits to face the full wrath of the law, Usman said she takes the direct threats to her life issued by these hoodlums seriously.
She added that Okunbo should be held responsible if any harm should befall her or any member of her family.
Usman described the action of the hoodlums as the height of impunity and disrespect.
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