Rivers: Tribunal sacks Sekibo, declares Uchendu winner

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The Rivers State elections petition tribunal has sacked George Sekibo, the senator representing Rivers-East senatorial district and declared Andrew Uchendu the winner of the senatorial election.

The News Agency of Nigeria reported that the tribunal also directed the Independent National Electoral Commission to withdraw the Certificate of Return issued to Sekibo and issue a fresh Certificate of Return to Uchendu.

The tribunal’s decision was hinged on the fact that Uchendu won the lawful majority votes cast during the Rivers rerun legislative election.

Uchendu had approached the tribunal with a petition asking the court to declare him the winner of the poll as he alleged that INEC failed to take into cognisance the results of some wards and polling units before declaring Sekibo the winner of the polls.

The tribunal hinged its decision on substantial non-compliance with the Electoral Act and INEC guidelines.

But the embattled Peoples Democratic Party lawmaker has indicated his readiness to file an appeal against the judgment of the tribunal, which sat in Abuja, on Wednesday, and upturned his December 10, 2016 rerun victory.

Sekibo, in a statement by his senior legislative aide, David Okoroafor, on Thursday, said his appeal would justify his victory and restore the hope of his constituents in democratic values.