A’Ibom Elders Fault Relocation Of Election Tribunal | Independent Newspapers Limited
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A’Ibom Elders Fault Relocation Of Election Tribunal

Posted: Jun 17, 2015 at 7:30 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Idongesit Ashameri  –  Uyo 


Concerned Akwa Ibom Elders have faulted the relocation of the state’s elections tribunal to Abuja, suspecting high level connivance and conspiracy against key Niger Delta states by those who have vowed to conquer and force these states under the control of their political party.

The elders, who questioned the alleged security threats and concerns as reason behind such relocation, argued that Akwa Ibom has been a haven of peace and good example of secure states in the federation, before, during and after the general elections.

Addressing journalists in Uyo on Monday, the concerned elders represented by a Third Republic Senator, Anietie Okon, said the relocation of the Akwa Ibom election tribunal, which was hitherto sitting in Uyo, to Abuja was without any convincing, honest and tenable reason to warrant such movement.

“The spurious, baseless and false advance of so-called security concerns by the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) which lost the elections in the state, and the subsequent glee with which her sympathisers have celebrated the movement of the tribunal betrays the hidden agenda of the petitioners.

“We consider it rather shocking that an otherwise peaceful and hospitable state like Akwa Ibom could be falsely labelled with insecurity; a state unlike most in the North East, where a clear case of insurgency exists and the scourge of Boko Haram have blighted the region. Putting Akwa Ibom State into that category is unfortunate, deceitful and amounts to an affront to common sense and good reasoning,” he said.

While expressing absolute confidence in the judiciary, the elders, however, said they have some reservations, given the desperation of some vested interests, which they said, have vowed to take over government in the state. The elders, therefore, pleaded with the judiciary not to succumb to their schemes or become a tool in their hands.

Further querying the relocation, the elders said: “We have pertinent questions as to why this relocation, designed to create confusion should be ordered, being a needless distraction and departure from the transparency that is expected of the judiciary process.

“Why are election petition tribunals in the South West not moved to Abuja? What is peculiar about Akwa Ibom State to warrant the pressure and special interests that have since encircled the election petitions tribunal? And how do our people cope with the attendant high risk of travelling in furtherance of their obligations arising from ongoing election petitions?”

The elders, however, affirmed their faith in the constitution, in Section 285 sub section (2) which provides that “There shall be established in each state of the federation one or more election tribunals, which shall to the exclusion of any court or tribunal, have original jurisdiction to hear and determine petitions as to whether any person has been validly elected to the office of governor or deputy governor or as a member of any legislative house.”