By Samuel Ogenyi, Uyo
An All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in the last state Assembly elections in Akwa Ibom Mr Aniefiok Bassey, has petitioned the National Judicial Commission (NJC) and the President of the Appeal Court, alleging the election petition tribunal compromised in their judgement of his petition.
Bassey who was the APC House of Assembly candidate for Uruefong\Oruko state constituency in his petition said the tribunal erred in delivering the ruling in favour of his opponent, Asuquo Archibong, of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Part of the prayers of Bassey in his petition to the Justice Wasiu Akanbi-led tribunal was that his PDP opponent, Archibong, was not qualified to stand as a candidate in the election, citing discrepancies in age and academic qualifications, which he alleged, were deliberately falsified to meet the requirements as spelt out by the Electoral law.
He alleged that the tribunal compromised when it failed to consider this ground as essential factor in delivering the judgment, adding that such omission forced him in alliance with the leadership of the APC to petition the matter to NJC and the leadership of the Appeal Court in Nigeria.
The petition on the matter to the two judicial authorities is entitled: A case of alteration\falsification of records of court proceedings in petition no: EPT\aks\SHA\2019 at the Akwa Ibom state House of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal, now listed as Appeal no; CA\C\NAEA\SHA\448\2019, and addressed to the NJC and Appeal Court President.
Part of the petition reads, “Upon the declaration of my opponent, Asuquo Edet Archibong of the PDP as winner of the election (House of Assembly), I filed a petition before the tribunal on March 29, 2019 challenging the declaration by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“Beyond stating the irregularities which marred the conduct of the election in an attempt to prove substantial non compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2019 (as amended), my petition focused on the issue of falsification of information in form CF001 to aid his qualification for the election and accordingly prayed the tribunal to declare me the winner of the election on that basis”.
But speaking to newsmen on the matter on Wednesday, Mr. Archiong denied the allegation, saying “I never falsified my age nor the particulars of my certificate”, alleging his APC opponent only brought the matter of age and certificate frauds as an afterthought as he never included such aspect in his petition to the tribunal.
“The same qualification I used in 2015 is the same qualification I used in 2019. He said he was my class mate and we wrote the school certificate examinations in 1996 and the result was not okay by me, I had to put in for another examination in 2014 still in the same school which I had the qualification I used in 2015.
“Now what is there in the Appeal, he is now saying that he wrote exams the same year with me and he is doubting how did I get to have another result in 2014 and used for election in 2019”, he stressed, explaining that he was working during the period while still struggling to get his results right.
He, therefore, dismissed the allegation as a clear blackmail aimed at destroying his character and image because of politics and urged his supporters to disregard the allegation.