Friday 11 December 2015

Appeal Court sacks all Rivers Senators; ...orders fresh election

George SekiboOlaka Nwogu
The Court of Appeal has removed another two Senators of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State. 

The two senators are Senator Osinachukwu Ideozu, representing Rivers South-West Senatorial District and Senator Olaka Johnson Nwogu representing Rivers South-East.

Their elections were nullified on account of its failure to comply substantially with the provisions of the Electoral Act and other guidelines.

A three-man panel, led by Justice Ibrahim Gumel, unanimously ordered fresh elections to be conducted within 60 days for the two senatorial districts.

Delivering judgment in two separate appeals filed by Senator Magnus Abbe and Otelemagba Dan-Amachree, both of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the court held that the elections of the sacked senators were not properly conducted, as required by law.

Justice Gumel held that from the available evidence of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and those of the appellants, the election of March 28, 2015 did not conform with set guidelines such as the use of voter card reader machines, voter register and other election guidelines.

The judge held that for available evidence, all the polling units in the two senatorial districts abandoned the use of card readers, giving way to manipulations.

He added that election without accreditation, as in the instant case, cannot stand in the face of the law because an act done in contravention of the law is nothing but a nullity and illegality.

Yesterday, the same court nullified the election of Senator George Sekibo representing Rivers Central, meaning all the senators in the state have now been sacked.

Osinachukwu Ideozu
Osinachukwu Ideozu

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