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RESIGN NOW AKWA IBOM APC TELLS TRIBUNAL CHAIRMAN, PDP REACTS

It’s not more news that Akwa Ibom State All Progressive Congress has called for the resignation of Justice Jennifer Mbalamen Ijohor,

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RESIGN NOW AKWA IBOM APC TELLS TRIBUNAL CHAIRMAN, PDP REACTS

It’s not more news that Akwa Ibom State All Progressive Congress has called for the resignation of Justice Jennifer Mbalamen Ijohor, who is the chairman Panel of 2 in charge of National and State House of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal in the state.

APC in the state who lost all contested post in the last election through their State Chairman, Mr. Ini Okopido alleged that Hon. Justice Ijohor is the wife of Professor Anthony Ijohor, the State Secretary to the Benue state government as well as strong stalwart of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), who also served as special adviser to Governor Samuel Ortom.

But in swift reaction, Comrade Ini Ememobong, Publicity Secretary of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) disagreed with the APC and descriped the call as for the Tribunal CHAIRMAN as “paranoia and display of imposter syndrome”

Below is the full PDP release

APC’s Sustained Imposter syndrome

Discerning minds have once again been treated to newer levels of paranoia and display of imposter syndrome via the text of the press conference addressed by the state chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Akwa Ibom State chapter, Ini Okopido.

In the statement,he expressed fears which were transparently lacking a strong foundation in both facts and law. For the avoidance of doubt, the state chairman of that broom confraternity ought to be aware that election petitions are _sui_ _generis_(of a special type) and therefore not all the rules of civil procedure apply therein.

There are different laws enacted for the adjudication of these matters before the tribunal, which must be followed stricto sensu and failure to do so, usually attracts consequences.

In Amaechi v. INEC, the court of Appeal held inter alia that failure to comply with procedural steps, which ordinarily could be waived in a civil matter, will be fatal to the petition. Additionally, in the cases mentioned by Mr. Okopido, the petitioners(APC and their failed candidates) failed or neglected to apply for Pre-trial forms which is in contravention of the provisions of the extant Electoral Act and the consequence is trite- the petition must be dismissed, same being incompetent.

The Supreme Court in Okereke v. Yar’Adua held that pretrial is a condition precedent to the hearing of a petition and without it, a petition is incompetent . On the issue of amendments sought for and denied by the three member tribunal( not the Chairman of the Tribunal), the law is specific that after the period allowed for filing of a petition, no amendment shall be made except to correct typographical errors. The amendments sought by the APC has the capacity to change the tone and character of their petition- this, the law clearly forbids.

A careful observation of the issues raised by the Chief broom carrier, will reveal that the APC is blaming the judge(who incidentally is not sitting alone )for their woes. The rational question will now be, how is the judge responsible for the omission by APC counsel to comply with the provisions of the law governing election petition? Should they ideally blame the judge, the Law or their lawyers?

On the issue of bias, may we remind the broom movement, which is currently on the inevitable downward spiral that, bias is not just a word to be bandied about in a legal proceeding, it must exist in fact and be felt, at least by the reasonable man. The rulings of the three man panel, like every other panel or court of like composition, can either be by unanimity or majority. The chairman’s vote is not a veto, it carries the same weight as that of the members and no more. Situations abound where the two members have voted against the decision of the chairman and their decision became that of the panel, the recent judgment of the Osun state Governorship election tribunal can refresh our minds on this subject. So if the rulings of the tribunal is against the APC, it is not the position of the judge complained about, but either the unanimous decision or majority decision of the panel. The APC cannot seek to rely on the Bulkachuwa scenario in making its ill-intentioned application because the two scenarios can be clearly distinguished.
My Lord the PCA,Bulkachuwa posted ‘himself’ to the panel conscious of the existing political relationship between one of the parties (the Respondent) and his family. In this case, the tribunal Chairman was posted by the PCA here, without any contribution or influence by the Judge. And recall that in the PCA’s case, personal relationships in addition to partisan ties between the parties were clearly brought to the fore. In the instant case, there is no proof of personal relationship between the parties before the tribunal and the chairman of the tribunal, except the inchoate allegation that her spouse is a member of the PDP. Even with that, there is no evidence to suggest that the husband of the chairman of the tribunal is a card carrying member of the PDP. That he was appointed SSG in Benue does not infer and cannot be construed to mean, that he is a member of the PDP. Membership of a political party is a process and documents exist in witness of same. There is no legal requirement that stipulates membership of a political party as a basis for appointment, unlike the case of the PCA, whose husband’s election to the senate was sponsored by the respondent before him. The SSG could have been appointed on the basis of his expertise and nothing more. The reliance on the illusionary social media post by an imaginary son of the Judge is most laughable, as we are all aware that in this age and time, mere name similarity is not a conclusive proof of biological relationship. There are suspicions that the APC is behind that post, in their usual scenario creation tactics.

Finally, we want to advice the APC to be more circumspect in their rants and shouts, as it is becoming very glaring that the fear of the unfolding reality of the judicial confirmation of their woeful electoral loss , is getting to them and they are terribly mortified. The consciousness that the entire country will laugh at their earlier loud mouthed boasts of delivering Akwa Ibom to the APC is gradually settling in. This panic reaction will only worsen their already battered public image. The world recalls their previous attempts at preventing the panels from sitting in Akwa Ibom and later seeking to relocate them. Having failed in those moves, they have changed gears and are asking for substitution of the chairman of a panel, so as to intimidate the other remaining judges, that if they don’t do their(APC) bidding, they will push for their change. The said judge is their test case and they are ready to commit resources and energy to this futile attempt.

We urge the entire public to discountenance the false claims by the APC and advice them to put their house, both political and legal in order. Neither the PDP, the Law or the Tribunal is the cause of their unending melancholy.

Signed:

Comrade Ini Ememobong ANIPR
State Publicity Secretary
People’s DemocraticParty
Akwa Ibom State Chapter
13072019

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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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