A Court of Appeal today nullified the election of four Akwa Ibom State lawmakers of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The lawmakers affected by the Court ruling are the former Speaker, Anieakn Uko, the former Deputy Speaker, Effiong Okon Bassey, the erstwhile member representing Ikot Ekpene / Obot Akara State Constituency, Idongesit Ntekpere and the erstwhile member representing Etinan state constituency, Aniefiok Dennis.
With the nullification of the PDP lawmaker’s election, the All Progressives Congress (APC) may increase the number of its members in the House, which therefore gives it the right to have a Minority Leader, a position which has remained vacant for years due to lesser competition from the opposition party.
The All Progressives Congress currently has one person, Asuquo Archibong, representing Urue Offong /Uruko state constituency, out of the 26 members in the House, which 25 members are of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), a situation which has been like that since 2003.
Following speculations that the former deputy speaker, Effiong Bassey, representing Oron/Udung Uko State constituency, was sacked outright from the House, spokesman of the House, Ime Okon explained that “the court cannot give you what you never asked for. All the petitioners wanted a rerun claiming that the elections were substantially flawed. So, it is a case of complete cancellation just like the three others. But the member for Uyo will re-contest election only in 29 polling units in his local government,” Okon said.
However, it is yet to be seen if the sacked lawmakers may return to the House anytime soon after the judgment of the Appeal Court.