By Inalegwu Shaibu
ABUJA—The contention over Eket, Akwa Ibom Federal Constituency seat continued, weekend, with former Senator Etang Umoyo demanding the resignation of Speaker Aminu Tambuwal for swearing in the incumbent, Rep. Eseme Eyiboh.
Eyiboh has dismissed the call, saying that Umoyo was ignorant of the provisions of the Electoral Act.
Citing section 75 (2) of the Electoral Act, Umoyo, weekend, told newsmen in Abuja, that the House of Representatives was wrong to have sworn in Eyiboh despite a court judgment, which upheld Eyiboh as the legal representative of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the election for Eket Federal constituency.
He said: “Few weeks ago, Tambuwal, without legal advice from the legal department of the National Assembly, inaugurated Eseme Eyiboh as a member of the House of Representatives to represent Eket/Onna/Esit/Ibeno Federal constituency.
Citing that same provision, Eyiboh dismissed the call by the former lawmaker, saying that his inauguration was in accordance with provisions of the constitution and the Electoral Act.
Eyiboh noted that his opponent, Mr. Dan Abia Jnr, was fighting a lost battle.
He argued that he was the right candidate to represent Eket Federal constituency, having won the first primaries that was conducted at the Eket Township Stadium, headquarters of Eket Federal Constituency, but was schemed out in another primaries in Uyo.
According to him the guidelines for the conduct of the primaries stipulates that the selection of the candidate should be done within the federal constituency, a fact he noted the court upheld in affirming him as the legitimate candidate of the party for the election.
“Section 75 (2) of the Electoral Act reads, ‘Where the Commission refuses or neglects to issue a Certificate of Return, a certified true copy of the order of a court of competent jurisdiction shall be sufficient for the purpose of swearing in a candidate declared as the winner by that court’.”