Movement of Akwa Ibom election petition tribunal to Abuja unconstitutional, says ex-Justice Commissioner

Posted by News Express | 7 June 2015 | 3,164 times

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A former Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice in Akwa Ibom State, Mr Uwemedimo Nwoko, has said that the movement of the state election petition tribunal to Abuja is unconstitutional, baseless and lacking any justification.

Nwoko said this in Uyo on Saturday when interacting with newsmen. He noted that the movement of the tribunal to Abuja has a multiplier negative effect on the entire state.

He said that the PDP was not in a hurry due to the fact that whatever proceedings that “are conducted in Abuja, unless the tribunal comes back to Akwa Ibom, is a nullity and amounts to no issue.”

According to him, if one is to rely on the case of Ibori and Ogboru, the Court of Appeal held that an election petition tribunal created pursuant to section 285, subsections 2, must hold its sitting in the state where the election took place.

He declared that to move the election petition tribunal outside the territory of the state where the election was conducted was a violation of the constitution.

“The tribunal and the registry have all been moved to Abuja; they may be having their first sitting on Monday in Abuja.

“But one thing I want to tell you is that moving the election petition tribunal from Akwa Ibom to Abuja is unconstitutional, baseless, and without any justification.

“We in the PDP, we the Akwa Ibom lawyers, and the NBA, are ready to challenge the movement of the tribunal to Abuja. It has a multiplier negative effect on the entire state.

“Why we are not in a hurry is that whatever proceedings are being conducted now until they come back to Akwa Ibom, outside the territory of Akwa Ibom, is a nullity and amount to no issue.

“So those who engineered the movement, those who constructed that mischief, are going to be the victims of their engineering because the tribunal will relocate to Akwa Ibom State.

“You can imagine the kind of burden, financial and logistic that will be put on the party that are going to move about 15,000 witnesses to come and testify in the election petition tribunal in an election that took place in Akwa Ibom,”  he said. (NAN)

•Photo shows Nwoko


Source: News Express

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