Appeal Court

The Appeal Court sitting in Calabar, the Cross River State capital, Friday nullified the April 11, 2015 House of Assembly elections for Yakurr 2 State Constituency in which Mr. Jonas Eteng William of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) emerged winner.

Justice Onyekachi Otisi, who delivered the ruling, ordered that a rerun be conducted within 90 days.

The candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Captain Eno Utim Inah had proceeded to the Appeal Court on a 12-ground appeal after losing at the Tribunal.

Inah’s lawyer, Mr. Egere Osim, among others had argued against the issuance of the certificate of return, Exhibit 24 RE10, to the first respondent, Williams, on the 13th day of April 2015, when elected was yet to be concluded.

According to Osim, “Elections were concluded in 55 per cent of the constituency on the 25th day of April but yet, certificate of return was issued on the 13th. So we now said that the certificate of return is evidence of substantial non-compliance with the electoral act and the election manual.”

“The Tribunal said no and what we should have done was to prove and give evidence that election in the polling unit and ward was marred instead of harping on the certificate of return, but we said no, that the certificate of return being evidence tendered by the respondent supported our case and based on it the Appeal Court should nullify the election and based on that the court now agreed with us and nullified the election and called for return in 90 days.”

The ousted Williams did not object to the judgment.

He said he was prepared for the rerun and was certain he would still win.

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