The All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in the House of Assembly election for Uruefong\Oruko State Constituency of Akwa Ibom state, Mr. Aniefiok Bassey, has petitioned the National Judicial Council (NJC) and the president of the Appeal Court, alleging that the election tribunal erred in delivering ruling in favour of his opponent, Asuquo Archibong, of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.
He recalled that part of his prayers (Bassey) in a petition to the Justice Wasiu Akanbi-led tribunal was that his PDP opponent, Archibong, was not qualified to stand as a candidate in the election and cited discrepancies in age as well as academic qualifications, which he alleged were deliberately tinkered to meet the requirements in the Electoral Act.
He accused the tribunal of compromising its status when it failed to consider the claims as a factor in delivering the judgment, adding that such omission forced him in alliance with the leadership of the APC to petition the apex judicial council and the leadership of the Appeal Court in Nigeria.
In the petition to the two judicial authorities titled: “A case of alteration /falsification of records of court proceedings in petition no: EPT\aks\SHA\2019 at the Akwa Ibom state House of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal,” Bassey stated that upon the declaration of his opponent as winner of the House of Assembly election, he filed a petition before the tribunal on March 29, challenging the declaration by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“Beyond stating the irregularities which marred the conduct of the election in an attempt to prove substantial non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2019 (as amended), my petition focused on the issue of falsification of information in form CF001 to aid his qualification for the election and accordingly, prayed the tribunal to declare me the winner of the election on that basis.”
But, in a telephone interview on Wednesday, the PDP candidate, Mr. Archibong denied the allegation, saying that “I never falsified my age nor the particulars of my certificate,” alleging that his APC opponent only brought the matter of age and certificate fraud as an after thought as he never included such in his petition to the tribunal.
He said: “The same qualification I used in 2015 is the same qualification I used in 2019.”
Archibong admitted that the petitioner was his classmate, saying that “we wrote the school certificate examinations in1996 and the result was not okay by me. I had to put in for another examination in 2014 still in the same school which I had the qualification I used in 2015.
“Now, what is there in the appeal; he is now saying that he wrote exams the same year with me and he now doubts how I got to have another result in 2014 which l used for the election in 2019.”
He therefore, dismissed the allegation as a clear blackmail aimed at destroying his character and image because of politics and urged his supporters to disregard the allegation.