1st June, 2011
Spokesman and House Committee Chairman on Information and media, Hon Eseme Eyiboh on Wednesday got closer to securing a return to the Green Chambers of the National Assembly as a Federal High Court in Abuja,presided over by Justice Abdu Kafarati has ordered the Independent National Election Commsion, INEC, to recognise him as the
Peoles Democratic Party’s candidate for Eket Federal Constituency of Akwa Ibom at the concluded House of Representatives elections.
Justice Kafarati made this order while delivering judgment in the suit filed by Hon Eyiboh where he urged the court to set aside the primary election held by the party at his constituency on 28 January 2011.
He claimed that the Peoples Democratic Party did not conduct any election before forwarding the name of Mr. Bassey Dan Abia to the electoral umpire.
Eyiboh had contended that the rescheduled primary election conducted by his party to select the party’s flag bearer did not comply with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended and the it was purportedly held outside the headquarters of his constituency.
The court held that the headquarters of Eket/Ibeno/Esit/Onna federal constituency is Eket and that any primary election conducted outside the headquarters is null and viod and of no effect.
Specifically, the Judge said the headquarters of the constituency is Eket and under the party’s constitution the primaries must hold at the headquarters.
According to the judge, “Article 17(2)(b) of the PDP constitution provided that the primary election to the House of Representatives shall be conducted at the constituency headquarters.”
The court further held that it was not in contention that the PDP conducted a the primary election in Uyo without giving any reason whatever for the change of venue other than that it was for convenience.
This, the court maintained was a violation of the 2010 Elecoral Act.
Consequently, the court declared that Hon Eyiboh is the candidate and winner of the election and not Mr. Dan Abia.
The party, according to the court, cannot be seen to be violating its own law at will and that the court is there to interprete the law.
ByÂ Nnamdi Felix/Abuja