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Some tribunal judges are cash-n-carry, says legal practitioner

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By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
Calabar— Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has been asked by a legal practitioner to monitor the activities of judges at election petitions tribunal in the country, alleging that some of them are suspected to be ‘cash-and-carry’ judges.

The Cross River State-based lawyer, Mr. Utum Eteng, who made the call in an interview in Calabar, alleged that there had been so much corruption within the ranks of the election petitions tribunal.

He said: “There is so much corruption in the judiciary as it relates to election petition. Allegation of corruption against judges is eroding the confidence of the people.

“Currently, I believe that the Chief Justice of Nigeria must re-order the judiciary. They should not just select judges and send to the tribunals. Politicians have perfected their games.

“The quality of our tribunal judgments is poor. I know people go on appeal. Look at Cross River State. The Court of Appeal unturned and reversed the judgments of the tribunal. Does it not touch your conscien-ce? Why should that be?

“Most judgments by the tribunal were challenged at the Court of Appeal and were all reversed. You don’t need a soothsayer to tell you that something must have happened somewhere.”

… As tribunal upholds Ativie’s victory in Uhunmwode
By Gabriel Enogholase

BENIN—National/State Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Benin, yesterday, upheld the election of Mrs. Elisabeth Ativie of Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN.

The tribunal upheld the declaration of Ativie as winner of the House Assembly election for Uhunmwode Constituency by Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

Ativie was dragged to the tribunal by the candidate of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Mr. Johnbull Asemota, who alleged that invalid votes were added to the 11,525 votes scored by Ativie at the poll.

He urged the tribunal to nullify the election and declare him winner or order a fresh election for the constituency.

The tribunal, in its judgment, held that the petitioner failed to specify areas where alleged irregularities took place.

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