Appeal Court Sacks PDP Senator
The Court of Appeal in Abuja has sacked George Sekibo as Rivers East Senator, upholding an earlier ruling of the Rivers National Assembly Elections Petition Tribunal.
The three-member appeal panel led by Adamu Jauro delivered its judgement on Thursday.
Consequently, the appellate court ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC to withdraw the certificate of return from Mr. Sekibo and give same to Andrew Uchendu of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
Mr. Sekibo contested the December 2016 Rivers legislative rerun polls as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. He was then announced as the winner by INEC, after a confrontation that almost resulted in bloodshed at the Port Harcourt City Hall.
In June, the tribunal nullified Mr. Sekibo’s election, saying that Mr. Uchendu earned the majority of lawful votes cast and that there was substantial non-compliance with the electoral law in the process of the poll.
But Mr. Sekibo approached the appeal court, expressing dissatisfaction with the tribunal’s ruling.
However, on Wednesday, the appeal court upheld the ruling of the tribunal, thereby halting Mr. Sekibo’s Senate career which started in 2007.
Rivers APC chieftain and NIMASA boss, Peterside Dakuku, in a telephone chat with PREMIUM TIMES, hailed the ruling.
As the suit arose from an election and is not a pre-election matter, the decision of the Appeal Court if final. With the development, APC will now have 67 members and PDP 41 in the Senate. One seat, Anambra Central, has been vacant since the removal of Uche Ekwunife by the court last year.