June 13, 2024

TNN Newspaper

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C’River Rerun: John Gaul Goes To Tribunal Again

3 min read

Is it true that Mr. John Gaul Lebo, candidate of the PDP for the Abi/Yakurr Federal Constituency rerun, has gone back to the tribunal to challenge the outcome of the election which produce Dr. Alex Egbona of the APC as winner.
A few weeks ago, John Gaul put up an interesting showing at the rerun which took place at Ekureku wards 1 and 2. At the end of the election, he was again defeated by the candidate of the APC, Dr Alex Egbona.
A few hours after the election was announced, immediate past governor of the state, Senator Liyel Imoke, believed to be one of the major supporters of the former speaker of the state house of assembly, congratulated Egbona over the victory and advised the PDP candidate not to think of further litigations.
It was however not clear if the state governor and leader of the PDP in the state, Prof Ben Ayade had also discouraged him from further litigations.
Egbona had won during the February 2019 election but the tribunal annulled the victory and declared John Gaul winner. That decision was however upturned by the court of appeal, which ordered the January 25, 2020 rerun.
TNN learnt that a popular Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, from the state, who has been handling election cases for some members of the party is already warming up to file a petition whenever a tribunal is set up.
Only recently, John Gaul was said to have written to INEC, asking for documents that were used for the election.
During the weekend there were unconfirmed reports that John Gaul had actually filed a petition against the election of Egbona.
When TNN called him on Wednesday for his comments on the speculations about his plans to return to the tribunal, his response was that he was not aware of any speculations. When asked if it was true that he was planning to return to the tribunal, he fidgeted first, before saying that he was not in the country and that we should reach a certain Dr Lazarus Abonor, whom he said was his campaign manager, during the rerun.
According to him, Abonor was yet to brief him on what transpired during the election and if he could go to court to challenge the outcome.
When TNN insisted that it was his place to say if he was going to court, he said Abonor should be contacted first before he could speak further. He even promised to send Abonor’s phone contact to TNN. But he never did, though.
TNN reached Abonor eventually and his response was that he had not spoken with John Gaul since after the election because the candidate never asked him anything after the election. He also denied that he was John Gaul’s campaign manager, saying he was only a colligation agent of the party for Ekureku ward 1.
Abonor also said he would only give a report to the party on what happened during the election at the collation centre where he was an agent. “ I was not his campaign manager, I was a collation agent for Ekureku ward 1. John himself has not called me to ask me how the election went.”
When TNN finished talking with Abonor, calls were made to John Gaul again but he had switched off his phone. The phone was still off as at the time of going to press.

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