Friday, 6 September 2019

Tribunal dismisses Ndoma-Egba's, APC case... See details

Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba (SAN) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has lost at the election tribunal in Calabar, Cross River State.

Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba of the APC had challenged the election of Senator Sandy Onor of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, representing Cross River Central senatorial district.

Delivering judgment on behalf of other three-man Tribunal on Wednesday, Justice Vincent Agbata, noted that petitioner's argument that he was unlawfully excluded by the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC from due participation in the election of 23rd February failed because INEC acted within the ambit of the rule of law in obeying the order of a Federal High court judgement in delisting the name of the petitioner as candidate of the APC.

The Tribunal noted that "The APC was unarguably at war with itself and had several pre-election litigations one of which gave rise to the exclusion of their candidates in the election which the Tribunal averred as a lawful act since there was no superior order of court to that of lower court which ordered the exclusion.

"Even if the petitioner, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba had scored the highest votes during that election the tribunal would still not declare him the winner because of the enumerated findings and submissions. The petition was bound to fail from the onset

The Tribunal said that "The Appeal court order of February 20th 2019 which directed that a status quo be maintained by parties means the situation as at the date order given and not before February 11, 2019 when the Federal High Court judgement was given.

More so, "The Tribunal viewed the petition as situated under the jurisdiction of pre-election matter being that the exclusion act by INEC, took place before the election".

It was also contended that the petitioner by the eye of the law was not validly the duly nominated candidate of his party at the time of the election being that he was lawfully excluded.

Responding to the Tribunal ruling, counsels to the respondents and the petitioners represented by Patrick Akan Esq and Efiom Ekong Esq respectively accepted the Tribunal judgment.

The Tribunal in the second judgment also upheld the election of PDP's Hon. Chris Agibe member representing Ikom-Boki Federal constituency in the National Assembly by dismissing the arguments of the petitioner; APC's Victor Agban which pleaded unlawful exclusion.