By Africa Today
The Chairman of the 3-man Court of Appeal panel sitting in Calabar, the Cross River State capital, Justice Tijani Abubaka on Saturday expressed joy over the conduct of the Calabar Bar, noting that there is no indolence or recalcitrant in the temple of justice in the State.
Abubaka while urging the Bar to “keep it up” also dedicated the success of the Court of Appeal judgments to the Nigerian people.
In the lead judgments, the Court of Appeal set aside the judgment of September 4th, 2019 Election Petition Tribunal-EPT, which declare a former speaker of the State Assembly, John Gaul Lebo, winner of the Abi/Yakurr Federal Constituency, hence ordering a re-run in Ekureku 1 and 2 within 90-day (beginning from Saturday) to determine the rightful winner.
Lebo, a candidate of the People’s democratic Party (Appellant) had challenged the outcome of the February 23 National Assembly election, saying the election was marred with massive irregularities and his (Egbona) ineligibility to contest the election.
Recall that Mr. Egbona, a Candidate of the All Progressives Congress and a former Chief of Staff to former Governor Liyel Imoke won his bitter rival, Mr. John Gaul Lebo of the Peoples Democratic Party in the February 23rd 2019 National Assembly election with a total of twenty-nine thousand, four hundred and thirty-two (29,432) votes, while Lebo only polled twenty-six thousand, nine hundred and seven-one (26,971) votes.
The result was announced by the INEC returning officer, Prof. Chike Okpala who later disclosed that a total of 58,889 votes were cast in the keenly contested elections.
Meanwhile, in a release by the federal lawmaker, Ebgona has call for calm while assuring all his supporters that they will win again.
In the 16 judgments delivered by the 3-man panel, led by Justice Tijani Abubaka, Justice Paul Elechi and Justice A.A Wambia, dismissed appeal by the Appellant, Charles Ikpi Eni of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for lack of merit and affirmed the judgment of the Election Petition Tribunal in favour of respondent Nelson Ofem of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for Yakurr 1 State Constituency.
Other appeals dismissed for lacking in merit were Sen. Victor Ndoma-Egba of the All Progressive Congress against Senator Sandy Onor of the People’s Democratic Party and two others, for Cross River Central Senatorial seat, decided in favour of PDP.
Victor Abang of APC and Chris Agibe of the PDP and two others concern Ikom/Boki Federal Constituency. It was decided in favor of the PDP.
It also dismissed appeal filed by Egbe Abeng Egbe of APC and affirmed that EPT judgment in favour of Michael Etaba Irom of the PDP and two others, concerning Obubra/Etung Federal Constituency.
Dismissed appeal filed by Apostle Godwin Ukpanukpong of APC and affirmed EPT judgment in favour of Godwin Akwaji of the PDP for Obudu State Constituency.
Dismissed Barr. Sabastine Ubua Anyia of the APC and another’s Appeal and affirmed EPT judgment in favour of Dr. Virginia Itam Abang of the PDP and two others, for Boki 1 State constituency.
Dismissed Mr. Bassey Efiom Asuquo of the APC and another’s Appeal and affirmed EPT judgment in favour of Hon. Elizabeth Edem Ironbar of the PDP and two others for Akpabuyo State constituency.
Still on bereave of merit, the panel also dismissed appeal filed by Mkpanam Obo of the All Progressives Congress and affirmed the EPT judgment in favour of Daniel Asuquo of the People’s Democratic Party for Biase/Akamkpa Federal Constituency.
Dismissed Wabilly Nyam of the All Progressives Congress and upheld the EPT judgment in favour of Senator Rose Oko of the PDP for Cross River North Senatorial district.
Dismissed Akiba Bassey Ekpenyong of the APC and upheld the EPT Judgment in favour of Daniel Eta Mbora for Udukpani/ Calabar Municipal Federal Constituency.
Affirmed the EPT judgment in favour of Alvert Ayambem of the PDP and dismissed the appeal file by Ebaye Akonjom of the APC for Ikom 11 State Constituency.
The panel also upheld the EPT judgment favouring Chris Njah Mbu of the PDP for Etung State Constituency and dismissed the appeal by Enyam Ogar of the APC.
Charlse Ekpe of the PDP was also successful as the panel upheld the EPT judgment for Akamkpa 11 State Constituency and dismissed appeal by Polycarp Effiom of the APC for lack of merit.