Appeal Court sacks House of Reps member, orders re-run

THE Court of Appeal, Abuja, has sacked the member representing Ikono/Ini Federal Constituency of Akwa Ibom state in the House of Representatives, Emmanuel Ukpong-Udo, from the National Assembly.     

In his judgement on Wednesday, January 17, the lead judge, Abba Mohammed, declared that the declaration of Ukpong-Udo as the election winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) violated the Electoral Act 2022 and Manual for Election Officials 2023.

The appellate court affirmed the judgement of the Akwa Ibom Election Petition Tribunal, which had earlier sacked Ukpong-Udo.


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The tribunal had ordered a re-run in the polling units where the election was not held when the National Assembly election was conducted on February 25, 2023.

According to the court, the re-run was to be held in 33 polling units in the constituency to determine the winner.

Ukpong-Udo was first elected to the National Assembly in 2019 under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) platform. However, he later defected to the Young Progressive Party (YPP).

Declaring him the winner of the 2023 election, the returning officer, Patrick Aderorho, said he secured 19,926 votes to defeat the PDP candidate, Glory Edet, who scored 15,765.

The INEC, however, backtracked in its decision and declared the election inconclusive. It called for a run-off in a few polling units following violence that marred the election.




     

     

    The election umpire said violence during an election was against the Electoral Act.

    The supplementary election was met with more violence, which prompted INEC to cancel the election.

    However, INEC declared the YPP candidate the winner about a month later.

    Dissatisfied with the announcement, the PDP candidate approached the tribunal to request that Ukpong-Udo’s victory be declared null and void.

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