March 4, 2021

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C’River Tribunals Contradicting Themselves, Says APC

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State chairman of the All Progressives Congress in Cross River State, Mr. John Ochala, has said that judges handling the election petitions at the tribunal were contradicting themselves in the judgements delivered.
He spoke in Calabar on the sidelines of the judgement delivered in the case involving Davis Etta of the Peoples Democratic Party and Iwara Inah of the APC. The case was in favour of the APC candidate as the tribunal ordered a rerun in some wards of the constituency.
One of the tribunals had on Wednesday 4th of September, 2019, ruled that the APC had no candidate in the case involving Dr Alex Egbona(APC) and John Gaul(PDP).
Meanwhile, in other cases handled by the same tribunal, the panel had ruled that the issue of candidacy in those petitions were pre-election matters and that they could not deal with them.
Ochala told TNN in an interview in Calabar that “all along, we have been of the opinion that the judges have been standing justice on its head. Now they are contradicting themselves which suggest that we have been on the right path all along. The appeal court will put these to rest.
Stressing that Inah’s victory was a clear sign that his candidates who were denied justice and fair judgement in the tribunal would have victory at the appeal court, saying “hope is there that at the end of day, justice will be served.”
Etta, the member representing Abi State Constituency was sacked by the court and ordered to go for a re run within ninety days. But he said the judgement was an undeserved punishment on him.
“The judgement is not fair in that elections were not conducted in the affected polling units because of violence not caused by me or my party. In Afafanyi/ Igonigoni council wards, the APC members submerged election materials in the river. In other words, I have benefitted in an injustice caused by them.”
Meanwhile, Inah has dedicated his victory to God and his constituents, saying “I am very happy. I thank the judiciary for doing the right thing at the right time and I dedicate this victory to the glory of God and my constituency.
“My prayer to the court is on the issue of inconsistency that is not in compliance with the Electoral Act as amended in 2010, and other omissions and irregularities, and to the glory of God, the tribunal upheld all of those things including the inconsistency in terms of the declaration that was made by Independent National Electoral Commission because we have about 15 polling units amounting to about 10,691 votes that there were no elections in Abi Local Government Area.
“I am going back for re run in 90 days in those 15 polling units and I trust God that I will definitely win because the people of Abi want me to go to the state house of assembly to serve them.”

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