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Presidential Election Petition Tribunal Weekly Updates

A summary of Presidential election Tribunal holding in Abuja

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Presidential Election Petition Tribunal Weekly Updates

Monday July 1, 2019

Tribunal further deliberated on preliminary issues bothering on the petitions filed by the legal team of the PDP and Atiku/Obi, following the fraudulent outcome of the February 23, 2019 Presidential and National Assembly Elections.

Major highlights

+ Adopting all the pre-hearing proceedings

+ Suggestions on Timelines for petitioners to present their cases and for respondents to reply.

+ Timelines and number of witnesses to be presented by counsel

+ Timelines for witnesses, cross examinations

+ Time schedule for main trial and presentation of final addresses by parties, etc

Wednesday July 3, 2019

The Tribunal ruled on a counter affidavit titled *Right to fair hearing* filed by the PDP and Atiku/Obi legal counsel, challenging the June 11, decision of the 3rd Respondents (APC).

*The APC had filed two separate motions carrying the same subject matter, replying to an application of PDP and Atiku/Obi, but later came to court on June 11, 2019 and withdrew one of the motion, (reply) especially the one the PDP replied to and adopted the motion the PDP did not replied to*

Implication

*The PDP and Atiku/Obi legal team as of the time the APC withdrew the said motion, had no time available by law to respond to the said motion the APC later adopted*

The tribunal however dismissed the counter affidavit filed by the PDP and Atiku/Obi legal team. While delivering the ruling, the trial Judge, Justice Mohammed Garba informed the court that the tribunal is Yet to take decision on the said motion adopted by the APC and described PDP’s counter affidavit as lacking in merit and ill conceived.

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The Tribunal later suspended all pending rulings on other applications filed by counsel during the preliminary hearings and adopted Thursday July 4, as the day to kickstart main hearing (Presentation of evidence, witnesses by counsel)

Thursday July 4, 2019

Professor Ben Nwabueze, renowned constitutional lawyer appeared in court on a wheelchair, leading the legal team for the PDP and Atiku/Obi

During proceedings, he declared that the determination of the petition will certainly impact on future elections and constitutionalism in Nigeria.

He concluded that notwithstanding his age and attendant health challenges, he had to attend the proceedings to underscore the importance of the Case.

Tendering of Evidence

The Real Fireworks

In accordance with earlier adopted proceedings for the main hearings, the Trial Judge called the PDP and Atiku/Obi to present its case.

The 1st Respondent, INEC objected, saying that the proposed schedule was not known to them, called for the court to reschedule in order for them to prepare.

The Tribunal however ruled that the schedule was agreed by all the parties and moreover that the request to present evidence was made by the PDP and Atiku/Obi’s counsel over two months ago. The Tribunal ruled in favour of the PDP and the presentation of evidence continued

Dr. Livy Uzoukwu, PDP lead counsel opened evidence with Niger state. He later presented that of Jigawa before the court adjourned to Friday July 5, 2019.

Atiku Abubakar, Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and his Party, the PDP on Friday tendered a total of 26,175 exhibits against the February 23, 2019 election that produced Muhammadu Buhari as President and in support of his petition seeking nullification of the election on grounds of fraud, election malpractices and non qualification of Buhari to stand for the poll.

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Friday July 5, 2019

The PDP and Atiku/Obi continued with presentation of evidence from Yobe, Kebbi, kaduna, Bauchi and others. Evidences from 8 states were presented between Thursday and Friday.

All the evidences, receipts presented by the PDP and Atiku/Obi lead counsel, Dr. Livy Uzoukwu were admitted as exhibits in court, though rejected by all the respondents.

During presentation, one of the receipt for the certification of documents for Kaduna state had issues with dates. The date on the receipt was July 11, 2019 and it was presented on July 5, 2019. The matter was discussed in court and further clarifications made.

The breakdown of the documents indicated that 3,378 came from Katsina; 2,106 came from Kebbi; 3,472 from Borno; 3,162 from Jigawa; 1,912 from Gombe; 3,539 from Bauchi; 3,335 from Kaduna and 5,271 came from Kano.

Uzoukwu, Atiku’s lawyer told the tribunal that his team will begin to call witnesses at the end of tendering of documents by the team.

The tribunal adjourned to Monday July 8, 2019.

It’s time to #RescueNigeria

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Akwa Ibom Speaker says 7th Assembly will be People-centric Legislature

The speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Aniekan Bassey has pledged to run a people-centric 7th Assembly

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Akwa Ibom Speaker says 7th Assembly will be People-centric Legislature

Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey receiving a souvenir from Mr Courage Mbon

Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey receiving a souvenir from Mr Courage Mbon

The speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Aniekan Bassey has pledged to run a people-centric 7th Assembly. Speaker Bassey made the promise when Ascend Communications, publishers of Assembly Watch paid him a courtesy visit.

Bassey said he intends to lead an assembly whose legislative engagements will revolve around the constituents, stating that such engagements will be the only way to ensure that the electorate are carried along in the process of legislation.

Speaker Aniekan Bassey said this will be achieved through town hall meetings to gather information on needs of the constituents, constituency briefings to intimate constituents on progress of legislative representation, as well as regular appraisals and briefings. Bassey said these engagements are imperative if the lacuna between the legislature and the electorate is to be bridged.

Speaking earlier, the MD, Ascend Communications, Mr Courage Mbon said the team was in the Assembly to intimate the speaker about “Assembly Watch”, an initiative of Ascend Communications, which aims at informing the general public about activities of legislators both in the State House Of Assembly and the National Assembly.

Mbon said Assembly Watch existed to bridge the communication gap between legislators and the general public; while also appraising performance of legislative representatives both in the state and Abuja.

High point of the visit was the presentation of a commemorative souvenir portrait to congratulate the speaker on his recent election as speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly.

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ETINAN LAWMAKER SPONSORS BILL TO CURB RAPE, OTHER VIOLENCE CRIMES IN AKWA IBOM STATE

Rt. Hon. Aniefiok Dennis Akpan, member representing Etinan State Constituency today sponsored a bill to curb rape and other violence crime in Akwa Ibom State.

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ETINAN LAWMAKER SPONSORS BILL TO CURB RAPE, OTHER VIOLENCE CRIMES IN AKWA IBOM STATE

Rt. Hon. Aniefiok Dennis Akpan, member representing Etinan State Constituency

Rt. Hon. Aniefiok Dennis Akpan, member representing Etinan State Constituency

Rt. Hon. Aniefiok Dennis Akpan, member representing Etinan State Constituency today sponsored a bill to curb rape and other violence crime in Akwa Ibom State.

The Bill titled a Law to Eliminate Violence in Private and Public Life, Prohibit all forms of Violence Against Persons and to Provide Maximum Protection and Effective Remedies for Victims and Punishment of Offenders and for Related Matters will ensure stiffer punishment for persons convicted of rape and other violent crimes

Rt Hon. Dennis, in the lead debate,
condemned recent violent crimes in the State and said the Bill when passed into law, will protect women, children and other persons against abandonment, circumcision, domestic and economic abuses.

He said it will also curb forced financial dependence, sexual exploitation, emotional, verbal and psychological abuse and said there must be penalties to discourage offenders from these acts.

The Member representing Ibesikpo Asutan State Constituency, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Uko who is a co-sponsor of the Bill, said violent crimes were not only particular to women, maintaining the Bill when passed into law, will also protect the men from all forms of harassment.

Others who spoke in support of the Bill, including the Member representing Ika/Etim Ekpo State Constituency, Hon. Mfon Idung, that of Ini, Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Ekpenyong; Abak State Constituency, Hon. Udeme Otong;
Ikot Abasi/Eastern Obolo State Constituency, Rt. Hon. Uduak Odudu and Member Ukanafun State Constituency, Dr. (Mrs) Charity Ido, lauded the lead sponsor, Rt. Hon. Aniefiok Dennis for bringing up the bill, saying it will further promote peace in the state.

Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey, Speaker AKHA

Rt. Hon Aniekan Bassey, Speaker AKHA

In his remarks, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey who lauded Members for their interests in the Bill, referred it to the House Committee on Woman Affairs, Social Welfare and Cooperative and directed the Committee to report back to the House within one month.

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Recall in the sixth assembly, Barr
Dennis facilitated a law which seeks to protect Akwa Ibom people from unlawful arrest and detention, the Law amongst other benefits places a ban on the arrest of persons in lieu of suspects, arrests in terms of civil matter and also seeks to eradicate the gender discrimination in bail issues. This was called CRIMINAL JUSTICE LAW.

Barr. Dennis also sponsored a bill which seeks to ensure prohibition of female circumcision or female genital mutilation which is commonly practised in some communities in the state and has lasting negative impacts in the lives of women called LAW THE VIOLENCE AGAINST PERSONS PROHIBITION BILL.

…….Partial contributions from Press Unit, Office of the Speaker, Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly.

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A’Ibom Assembly seeks State Govt’s Intervention on Calabar-Itu Federal Road

Worried by the sufferings encountered by commuters, residents and other road users plying the now deplorable Calabar-Itu federal road, the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly has directed the state Ministry of Works to i

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A’Ibom Assembly seeks State Govt’s Intervention on Calabar-Itu Federal Road

by Mfonobong Ukpong

Worried by the sufferings encountered by commuters, residents and other road users plying the now deplorable Calabar-Itu federal road, the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly has directed the state Ministry of Works to intervene on the failed portion of the Enen-Itam axis of the road, with a view of alleviating the plights of the road users and residents of the area.

The House gave the directive, Thursday at plenary sequel to a motion of urgent public importance raised by the Member representing ITU State Constituency, Hon. Kufre-Abasi Edidem who informed the House of the deplorable state of the Calabar-Itu road, particularly Enen-Itam axis of the road. He said members of his constituents and other road users were expressing difficulties plying the road, and pleaded that the state government be urged to undertake urgent intervention measures on the road in the interest of the people.

Reacting to the motion, lawmakers argued that the current situation of the road was affecting economic activities as the road connects Akwa Ibom with neighboring Cross River State. Members for Ibesikpo-Asutan State Constituency, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Uko, Nsit-Ubium, Barr. Otobong Bob, Etim-Ekpo/Ika, Hon. Mfon Idung, Uyo, Hon. Anietie Eka, Hon, Abak, Udeme Otong, Ukanafun, Dr. Charity Ido and the Chief Whip, Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Ekpenyong in their separate contributions sympathised with residents of the area and other road users who ply the road. They wondered why the federal government was still dragging it’s feet on the said road, years after it publicised that contract had been awarded for the construction of the road. The Assembly Members agreed that it has become expedient for the state government to intervene on the federal road, since majority of those who use the road are Akwa Ibom people.

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Uyo representative, Ekah said “It is disheartening that the federal government seems to be playing politics on the road. It’s high time we separate politics from human lives”.

Reacting, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey said though the Assembly was aware that the said road is a federal road, it was necessary that urgent intervention be undertaken to ameliorate the plights of the people. He ruled that the matter be referred to the State Ministry of Works for urgent intervention, and directed the Clerk to communicate the decision of the House to appropriate quarters for necessary action.

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