September 27, 2023

TNN Newspaper

a commitment to responsible journalism

Tribunal Affirms Egbona’s Victory as Reps Member, Throws LP Candidate’s Petition Into Waste Bin

5 min read
Spread the love

For not being able to prove the case against Dr Alex Egbona’s election into the House of Representatives, the election petition tribunal sitting in Calabar, Cross River State has thrown into the waste bin, the petition filed by Mr John Ifere(Sunday Okar Ifere).

Mr Justice Phoebe Alvan Okoeonkwo who read the unanimous judgement on Friday said the petitioner could not prove any of the allegations levelled against Egbona.

Ifere, who campaigned with the name John Ifere but went to court with a different name-Sunday Okar ifere-had told the tribunal that Egbona was not properly nominated by the APC for the election and was therefore not qualified to contest the election.


In one breadth, he alleged that the election was fraught with irregularities and in another, he urged the court to declare him winner of the same election.

He had also told the tribunal that the figures entered for Egbona in some of the wards were done in error and insisted that the votes were actually supposed to be his. But what he did merely amounted to dumping information on the tribunal as he could not show any proof, neither did did he show the tribunal what the correct figures ought to have been.


The low side of the judgement against Ifere came when the tribunal pointed to INEC’s form EC9, which is the form that bears the personal information of candidates for the election, and noted the criminal photo-shopping of the form by Ifere, to show that Egbona did not submit a complete form to INEC for the election.

The tribunal compared what Ifere filed before the court with the correct and fully filled form EC9 which Egbona personally tendered before the court and concluded that what Ifere submitted was clearly doctored.



The tribunal dismissed all the grounds of Ifere’s petition and consequently threw the entire petition into the waste basket.

Reacting to the judgement, Egbona said he would not hold anything against Ifere for the distractions, but invited him to join him in moving the constituency forward. He said the judgement was expected because the people truly gave him their mandate on February 25.

Below is the full text of his address to the people of his constituency, shortly after the judgement:


My Dear Abi/Yakurr People,


On February 25 this year, you filed out in all polling units of our federal constituency to cast your vote for me, to enable me return to the House of Representatives and continue to represent you. From Bahumono to Agbo, from Agbo to Imabana, from Imabana to the entire Yakurr LGA, you cast your votes for continuity. The win was convincing. It was a bold statement by you, from all parts of Abi and Yakurr Local Governments, that you preferred me to the other contestants. INEC, the electoral umpire, confirmed and announced this position when I was declared winner of the election and was consequently inaugurated for a second term.

My opponent in the PDP, Hon. Eko Atu, saw the will of the people at work and immediately congratulated me without thinking twice. But Mr John Ifere decided to challenge your will and decision. He dragged me before the election petition tribunal, claiming that you did not vote for me. He even claimed that I was not properly nominated by my party, the APC, for the election.

I never contemplated that I was going to go through this phase again, considering the distraction and money involved in election cases. In 2019, I went through this route and I know what our constituency suffered as a result. But I had no choice than to follow him to the tribunal.

After about 90 days, the tribunal has given its verdict. And as was expected, your votes have been confirmed to be mine. I have been confirmed winner by the tribunal. But I consider the events of the last about 90 days a serious distraction. The time and resources spent at the tribunal would have been used to pursue the development of our federal constituency, with you as the greatest beneficiary, as I have always done. But I cannot cry over spilt milk.

At this point, I can only congratulate and thank you, my dear people, for standing by me from the beginning till this time. This victory is not just mine, but it belongs to God, you and all lovers of this constituency, who have prayed and showed solidarity throughout the period of this trial.

Let me use this opportunity to appeal to Mr John Ifere to join me as I strive to build and attract development to this federal constituency. Whatever ideas he has that can move the constituency forward will be welcome. In fact, I do not hold anything against him for the distractions; afterall he was merely exercising his rights within the law. I therefore invite him and his people to come along so that together, we can work towards the development of our constituency.

I wish to express my appreciation to our team of lawyers for their painstaking defence of the mandate you gave to me freely. I may not have anything to give them, but my prayer is that God will adequately reward them for their dexterity and professionalism in the discharge of their duties.

I also wish to thank the judiciary for defending your mandate. They looked at the law and the evidence before them and passed the right judgement. May God bless those men and women in the temple of justice.

Let me reiterate my commitment to selfless service for the remaining years and in the years to come, as long as I remain in public service. My records of past service speak louder than whatever I can say today. I can only tell you one thing: expect the very best in all areas. Because I cannot walk alone, and because you are always there for me, you deserve and will get the best from me at all times.

May God bless us all.


Thank you.


Hon. Alex Egbona, PhD

September 8, 2023

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *