Appeal Court unseats Akwa Ibom deputy speaker

The Appeal Court sitting in Abuja, Tuesday, nullified the election of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly deputy speaker, Effiong Bassey.

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had declared Mr. Bassey of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP winner of Oron/Udung Uko state constituency.

But in a unanimous decision, the court ordered INEC to conduct fresh election to fill the vacant position within 90 days.

The three-man panel led by Justice Moshood Oredola-Abdulrahman, ruled that the conduct of the April 11 poll in the state constituency did not comply with the provisions of the electoral law.

Victor Okon, the candidate of the All Progressive Congress, APC, had approached the Election Petition Tribunal to seek the cancellation of Mr. Bassey’s election for alleged non-compliance with the Electoral Act.

When the tribunal ruled in favour of his opponent, he approached the Court of Appeal and urged it to set aside the judgment, describing it as “pervasive and out of order”.

After considering the submissions by parties to the appeal, Mr. Oredola-Abdulrahman granted the prayers of the APC candidate and ruled that the election which returned Mr. Bassey as the state house of assembly member be set aside.

The same court had on Tuesday December 15, nullified the election of the speaker of the state’s assembly, Aniekan Uko, on grounds that it did not comply with the provisions of the Electoral Act.

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