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Rivers rerun: Why PDP candidate was disqualified Featured

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Benibo Anabraba Benibo Anabraba Credits: Facebook.com

Whilst thanking God for HIS mercies and my constituents for their support and prayers, my attention has been drawn to issues concerning my victory and the disqualification of the PDP candidate.

1. What were the Reliefs sought at the Election Tribunal?

a. That the PDP candidate was not qualified to contest the election having falsified information and forged INEC documents. He should be disqualified.

b. That the election was marred by irregularities and should be cancelled.

On (a). The Tribunal found that the PDP candidate lied under Oath in INEC forms CF001 and EC4B, wherein he claimed to be a businessman but was found to be a staff of Chevron who was only on Leave. Again that he is a Registered Voter in Ward 15 Unit 11 Kula, Akuku-Toru LGA when he isn't.

He also tendered 2 different Temporary Voters Card of 2 different Constituencies that were found to be Forgeries.

S.31(6) of Electoral Act as amended makes False information a ground for disqualification.

S.140(2) of Electoral Act as amended says upon disqualification of the Winner of an election by the Tribunal, New elections be conducted instead of declaring the person who came second as winner.

The Election Tribunal held the above as grounds for its judgment.

Thus (b) was no longer necessary.

The Court of Appeal Affirmed the Decision of the Election Tribunal.

IT WAS NOT INEC THAT DISQUALIFIED THE PDP CANDIDATE. (INEC was only a party in Court and merely obeyed the Court.)

2. Is PDP unaware of the Judgement of the Courts?

- INEC wrote to the PDP days before the elections and informed them of the court judgement and the position of the Law which is to the effect that they were not part of the elections for Akuku-Toru constituency 2 RSHA as its candidate had been disqualified.

It is therefore surprising and unfortunate that the PDP is crying foul and issuing threats and falsehood.

As a young lawyer with 15 years post-call, I have no reason to devise fraud for the purposes of a political office or any other. Let my learned seniors be truthful as ministers in the Temple of Justice in their presentation of facts to the unsuspecting public. This is not the end of the world.

- Benibo Anabraba, APC candidate and member-elect, Rivers State House of Assembly

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