Thursday, 12 September 2019

Remain calm, my mandate is still intact - Davies Etta to constituents amidst tribunal judgement


The House of Assembly member representing Abi state constituency in the Cross River State House of Assembly, Hon. (Dr.) Davies Etta has said that despite the judgment issued by the Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Calabar today, 12th September, 2019, he still has an upper hand in the matter. 

He made this known to newsmen, moments after the tribunal ruling, stating that he still remains the authentic representative of the people till the legal expiration date given for an appeal to be filed. He said for the time being, he and his legal team together with  his party are studying the judgment and in due course will relate to the public the decisions reached. 

Explaining further, the erudite lawmaker of the 9th Cross River State House of Assembly, said the 15 polling units which the tribunal asked for a rerun to be conducted are in familiar terrains and as such he is not perturbed even if a rerun is the last option available for him to defend his mandate. He also explained that following the results announced by INEC after the elections and upheld by the tribunal, he still has an outstanding approximated 5000 votes ahead of his opponent and that the total number of registered voters in the 15 polling units canceled is less than 12,000 and those 15 polling unit are PDP controlled units, therefore, he is double sure of victory should a rerun be conducted. 

He informed that, although elections didn't take place in those polling units under dispute due to electoral violence and the electoral officers had filed an official reports to that effect, but wondered why the reports were not documented at INEC office, stating that this was what gave room for the tribunal to capitalize on in calling for a rerun in those affected polling units. 

In a press statement released earlier on by the lawmaker, he asked his supporters to remain calm as victory belongs to God. 

"As a lawmaker, I retain implicit faith in the Nigerian judiciary system. I am also not unaware of the various options available to me. Upon a quick review of those options with my lawyers and my party, I shall in due course relay to you the decision reached at". He said. 

"For the time being, as we work towards achieving this, I urge all my teeming supporters, constituents and party faithfuls not to be discouraged but remain calm. God is indeed on our side and victory is His". He added. 

"The tribunal has done its part as a legally recognized tribunal set up by government and saddled with the responsibility of looking into and deciding on electoral petitions brought before it. 

"I have received several calls and messages from different quarters expressing overwhelming solidarity with me and my party, the People's Democratic Party. Therefore, I want to use this medium to call on my constituents across party lines, especially my supporters to remain calm, and not loss hope as God is the ultimate giver of power. We are not discouraged with the tribunal's judgment". The statement reads. 

Recall that the Election Petition Tribunal headed by Justice A. A. Babawale had in its ruling in Calabar, declared the election of Dr. Davies Etta of the People's Democratic Party, PDP, null and void while ruling in a petition by Iwara Inah, the All Progressives Congress, APC candidate, alleging electoral malpractices, noncompliance with the 2010 electoral guidelines by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, while conducting the election on March 9, 2019.

She said votes in fifteen polling units numbering ten thousand four hundred votes which were cancelled could decide if victory could go one way or the other among the candidates. 

Justice Babanwale ordered a rerun to be conducted in the fifteen polling units within ninety days and called for the withdrawal of the Certificate of Return given to the PDP candidate.