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Appeal Court sack: Abbo fingers Akpabio; Senate president denies involvement

Elisha Abbo, sacked Adamawa North senator, has fingered Senate President Godswill Akpabio in the appeal court ruling which removed him from the office. The Court…

Elisha Abbo, sacked Adamawa North senator, has fingered Senate President Godswill Akpabio in the appeal court ruling which removed him from the office.

The Court of Appeal in Abuja voided the election of Abbo of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Abbo winner of the February 25, 2023 parliamentary election, but Amos Yohanna, his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) rival, rejected the result and headed for the court.

The tribunal, in its judgement, dismissed Yohanna’s petition for lacking in merit.

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The PDP’s candidate, through his counsel, Johnson Usman (SAN), approached the Appeal Court.

The Court of Appeal, after hearing arguments from parties, agreed with Usman that based on Section 137 of the Electoral Act, 2022, the results tendered clearly showed that there was no compliance with the Electoral Act.

The court, thereafter, deducted the invalid votes from the parties and found that Yohanna and PDP won the election by majority of lawful votes.

The three-member panel presided over by Justice C.E. Nwosu-Iheme, in a judgement, ordered INEC to issue a Certificate of Return to Yohanna as validly elected lawmaker for the senatorial district.

Reacting to the court’s ruling, Abbo said four other senators who worked against the emergence of Akpabio as Senate president had been targeted for removal from the Red Chamber through the court.

In an interview with reporters on Monday in Abuja, Abbo specifically mentioned Senator Orji Uzor Kalu (APC Abia North) as the next target for removal from the Senate.

“I have it from a reliable source that I and four other senators within the fold of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) will be removed from the Senate through rulings from the courts, all because of working against the emergence of Akpabio as President of the 10th Senate.

“I won’t mention the names of all the four other ones targeted but the next in line is Senator Orji Uzor Kalu,” he said.

He wondered how with the over 11,000 votes margin of victory he had above his closest rival, Yohanna Amos Yohanna of the People’s Democratic Party in the election, the Appeal Court upturned his victory.

“The court judgement is strange and the judiciary needs to please remain the last hope of the common man,” Abbo said.

He, however, appealed to his supporters to remain calm, vowing to recontest in 2027.

I have no hand in it – Akpabio

But reacting, the President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, denied his alleged involvement in Abbo’s political travail.

In an interview, Hon. Eseme Eyiboh, Special Adviser, Media, and Publicity to the President of the Senate, denied the involvement of his principal.

He said, “It is unfortunate if he actually said that Akpabio was responsible for his removal. That is the swan song of a man looking for scapegoats.

“The Court of Appeal across the country decides cases based on the provisions of the Electoral Act and evidence advanced by petitioners. The Senate president has no reason to witch-hunt any of his colleagues.”

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