Abi Chairmanship: Court Sits On Matter, Reactions Follow

The High Court in Ugep, Yakurr LGA of Cross River State, presided over by the Honourable Justice Eyo Ita, commenced hearing yesterday in the suit brought before her by a former chairmanship aspirant in Abi LGA, one Ms. Winifred Ikpabi.
Scales of Justice
Ikpabi who sought the top job on the platform of the PDP, for the 2013 LG polls, is asking the court to set aside the nomination of the Abi LG Chairman-elect, Edith Amadi, on the grounds that Amadi was not qualified by age to seek the party’s nomination for the said polls. Her prayer is hinged on Section 12 of the LG Law, 2004, the PDP’s laid down guidelines for the conduct of the election and a statutory declaration of age supposedly deposed by Amadi’s mother, Madam Grace Evogor, before a Sapele Magistrate Court in 2002, to the effect that Amadi was born on October 26, 1984 as against the October 26, 1982 date, as contained in Amadi’s documents, turned in as one part of requirements for contesting the election.

J. A. Dada, counsel to Amadi however moved a motion pleading for more time to file Amadi’s memo of appearance as well as statement of defence, a motion not objected to by Ikpabi’s legal team. Argument of the motions filed by the Cross River State Independent Electoral Commission, CROSIEC, and the PDP, challenging the Court’s jurisdiction in the matter will commence on December 2, 2013.

Meanwhile, reactions have continued to trail this matter. One commentator submitted that, “the matter is a party matter and will go nowhere”, insisting further that, “at the end of the day it is what the party says that will stand and not this time wasting exercise”. It is a position that seemingly drives home the impunity embedded in our electoral processes and a clear lack of patience for the judicial system. But another commentator was quick to point out that, “because elements in the PDP are afraid of the outcome of this case, they are trying to create a negative situation they hope will hoodwink the people into settling for wrong, as right. Let the court decide the matter and not the court of side talks”, he concluded. The days ahead may prove to be interesting for followers of this matter.

Additional info: O. Obono-Obla

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