Tambuwal Swears In Eyibo, Ex House Spokesman

Source: SAINT MUGAGA, THEWILL. - thewillnigeria.com

ABUJA, June 30, (THEWILL) - The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal today swore-in Hon. Eseme Eyiboh as the representative of Eket/Onna/Esit Eket/Ibeno Federal constituency.

Eyiboh who was the former Chairman of the House Committee on media and publicity in the last House has been locked in pre-election litigations with Dan-Abia who was returned as the winner of the House of Representatives elections held in April.

His final admittance into the Green Chamber was sequel to a judgment delivered in his favour by Justice Abdul Kafarati of an Abuja High Court.

Tambuwal immediately after swearing in Eyiboh left the chamber for his Deputy, Emeka Ihedioha to continue with the business of the day.

Eyiboh who went to court to challenge the legality of the emergence of Dan-Abia as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the primaries conducted in his federal constituency argued that the primaries ought to have held at the Eket, the federal Constituency’s headquarters.

He argued that the primaries that produced Dan-Abia as the candidate was conducted at Uyo, the Akwa-Ibom state capital, making his election unconstitutional.

Consequent upon this, Justice Abdul Kafarati ruled that Eyiboh be given the Certificate of Return as the rightful candidate of the party.

But Barrister Abia has insisted that the House erred in swearing in Eyiboh because he had appealed the judgment even as he vowed to defend the mandate he claimed was handed over to him by the people of his constituency.

According to him, “Kafarati’s ruling on the suit was unjust, unfortunate and sad.” He argued that his appeal should have made the Speaker to stay action by maintaining the status quo.

He maintained that, “the judgment of the Federal High Court did not and indeed could not have invalidated or nullified my sealed Certificate of Rerun by virtue of section 75[1] of the Electoral Act, 2010.”

Quoting the relevant sections, Abia stated, "A sealed certificate of return at an election in a prescribed form shall be issued within 7 days to every candidate who has won an election under this Act; Provided that where the Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court being the final Appellate Court in any election petition as the case may be nullified the certificate of return of any candidate, the commission shall within 48 hours after the receipt of the order of such court issue the successful candidate with a valid certificate of return and not otherwise."

He pointed out that Independent National Electoral Commission Secretary, Abdullai Kaugama, had no such powers to invalidate a Certificate of Return signed as sealed by the Chairman of the Commission.