* Affirms Senator Abe’s election
Still in the process of putting it’s house in order, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday lost its bid to retain the Rivers East Senatorial District seat to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.
This followed a judgement of the Abuja Division of the Court appeal that ordered the removal of the PDP Senator, George Thompson Sekibo as senator representing Rivers East Senatorial District in the Senate.
In a unanimous decision of three-member panel headed by Justice Adamu Jauro, the appellate declared Hon. Andrew Uchendu of the All Progressives Congress, APC, as the winner of the December, 2016 assembly elections.
The appellate court also ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, to issue Uchendu a fresh certificate of return.
In another judgement, the same panel of the Court of Appeal upheld the election of APC’s Magnus Abe as Senator representing Rivers South-East Senatorial District.
The court affirmed the judgment of the legislative election tribunal delivered on June 27, 2017 and dismissed the appeal by Olaka Nwogu of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), on the grounds that it was without merit.
The sacked senator had been representing Rivers East Senatorial District in the National Assembly since 1999.
Sekibo was Chairman, Committee on Defence in the 7th National Assembly. He was considered very close to former President Goodluck Jonathan and his wife, Patience, and so, wielded much influence.
It could be recalled that the Rivers State National and State Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja had sacked the Senator representing Rivers East Senatorial District, Senator George Sekibo of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
The three-man panel sitting at Apo Quarters in the Federal Capital Territory affirmed the petition of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Andrew Uchendu.
The panel declared the candidate of APC in the December 10 rerun election in Rivers-East Senatorial District, Chief Andrew Uchendu as the winner of the election.
The court directed the Independent National Electoral commission, INEC, that Chief Andrew Uchendu be issued a certificate of return and that of Senator Sekibo withdrawn.
The Tribunal ruled that Sekibo “became Senator through the back door.”