Tuesday, 5 November 2019

More trouble for Etta as Appeal Court calls for rerun in Abi state House elections

Davies Etta 

The Court of Appeal sitting in Calabar has uphold the judgment issued by the Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Calabar in September 2019, calling for fresh elections to be conducted in about 15 polling units of the over 100 units of Abi Local Government Area. TDN can say authoritatively.

Delivering the judgement, the panel headed by Justice Abubakar said that the appeal brought before it by Hon. Davies Etta of the PDP lacked merit and as such cannot be entertained by the court. Therefore, upholding the decision of the lower tribunal calling on INEC to within 90 days conduct fresh elections in 15 polling units in the local government area. 

Recall that, in his appeal Etta had argued that it is only INEC's voters' register that can truly ascertain if the number of registered voters domiciled in the affected 15 polling units are up to the 10, 000 votes as claimed by his opponent which the tribunal ruled on. 

He said the tribunal didn't use INEC's voters register to determine the total number of registered voters in those units. He further argued that following INEC's register the number of voters in those units are not up to the acclaimed figure and as such there's no need for a fresh election since he has well over  5000 votes ahead of his contender.

In a Press Release by the lawmaker Immediately after the judgment, Etta had called on his constituents to be calm and peaceful while they prepare to go in to the field stating that the judgment is only a delay of justice and his mandate. 

The statement reads in full: 



Today the Court of Appeal sitting in Calabar has decided on the appeal we brought before it. And as God will have it, the judgment is a delayed victory for us. 

The decision of the appellant court does not in anyway reflect and neither will it decide the collective aspirations of the good people of Abi State House Constituency. 

I wouldn't want to say that we lost our appeal, rather I would say our victory at the polls during the March 9th 2019 House of Assembly election was upheld while the grand finale of our celebration has been delayed and shifted to 90 days from now. 

As a lawmaker who believes in our legal and judicial system, we had to appeal the decision of the Election Petition Tribunal of September 2019 in a bid to ensure your mandate wasn't taken away, and having exhausted all the legal privileges at our disposal to sustain that mandate you gave to us, I therefore, call on all well meaning sons and daughters of Abi LGA to stay calm as law abiding citizens as we now resort to the field to revalidate our collective victory. 

Like I said after the tribunal judgment in September, a rerun is only an opportunity for us to fully and completely express as well as resoundingly demonstrate our love for qualitative representative governance which we have all enjoyed this few months of our stay in office. 

I therefore appreciate all those who stood by us to defend the mandate, I thank you for your steadfastness, your calls, messages, prayers etc. You have shown me so much love and I can't take such act of kindness for granted. 

As we prepare to hit the field, let's do this with love and peace. We are all brothers and sisters election or politics should not mar us, neither should political parties bring discord and hatred amongst us. Hon. Iwara still remains a brother till tomorrow. Let's play politics with ethics. 

Thank you very much. I love you all. 

Hon. (Dr.) Davies Etta
Member representing Abi in the CRSHA