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REP, SPEAKER DRAGGED TO ELECTION PETITION TRIBUNAL

By NBF News
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House of Representatives committee chairman on finance and PDP candidate in the recently-held election, Mr. John Enoh, and the Speaker of Cross River State House of Assembly, Mr. Francis Adah, have been dragged before the Election Petition Tribunal for alleged breach of the 2010 Electoral Act.

John Enoh and Francis Adah both PDP candidates for Obubra/Etung and Obudu/Obanliku/Bekwarra Federal constituencies respectively, were declared winners of the just-concluded National Assembly elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Joined in the petition were the Independent National Electoral Commission, and the Cross River State Resident Electoral Commissioner.

The All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) candidate for Obubra/Etung Federal Constituency in the National Assembly elections, Mr. Ibingha Ajogbo, in his petition claimed that the election was invalid by reasons of corrupt practices and substantial non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2010. The violations, he said affected the results of the election.

The defeated candidate of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) for Obudu/Obanliku/Bekwarra Federal Constituency in Cross River State, Mr. John Odey, Mr. Francis Adah, in the petition EPT/CR/NA/8/2011, alleged that the election was marred by malpractices and intimidation contrary to the provisions of Electoral Act, 2010. He alleged, 'The foundation for the massive rigging of election in Cross River State was laid when appointees of government and senior civil servants were allegedly threatened with dismissal unless they delivered their wards and constituencies.

'The threat drove them into frenzy of desperation. Gentlemen who were transformed on election days into common criminals engaged in diversion of electoral materials, multiple thumb-printing of ballot papers, vote buying, bribery of electoral officials to inflate votes. The threat was allegedly made on March 30, at the enlarged State Executive Council meeting.

'In most of the polling units and wards, votes were allocated without the conduct of election as provided for by the Electoral Act and the guidelines issued by the 2nd Respondent (INEC),' he alleged.