- As Senator Sekibo kicks, plans appeal –
The long-drawn battle of political wits between the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Rivers State continued on Wednesday with the Rivers State elections petition tribunal kicking out George Sekibo as the senator representing Rivers-East senatorial district.
The Tribunal, which declared APC’s Andrew Uchendu as winner of the senatorial poll, also directed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw the Certificate of Return issued to Sekibo and thereafter present Uchendu with a fresh Certificate of Return.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the tribunal’s decision was informed by the fact that Uchendu won the lawful majority votes cast during the Rivers re-run legislative election held on December 10, 2016.
Uchendu had approached the tribunal with a petition asking the court to declare him the polls’ winner, alleging that the electoral umpire failed to take into cognisance the results of some wards and polling units before rushing to declare Sekibo as winner of the election.
Again, the tribunal, which sat in Abuja due to security concerns in Port Harcourt, said its decision was further based on substantial non-compliance with the Electoral Act and INEC guidelines.
Meanwhile, the embattled PDP lawmaker has expressed his resolve to appeal against the tribunal’s judgment of the tribunal, which on Wednesday, and upturned his December 10, 2016 rerun victory.
A statement by Sekibo’s Senior Legislative Aide (SLA), David Okoroafor on Thursday said the appeal would not only re-affirm but justify the Senator’s victory as well as restore the hope of his constituents in the country’s democratic values.