By Harris Emanuel- Uyo
Akwa Ibom State High Court sitting in Uyo , the state capital, has restrained the State Independent Electoral Commission ( AKISIEC) from conducting local government elections billed October 31.
In an exparte motion filed by Messrs Uwemedimo Udoma , Hon Okuku Saaforo , Hon. Uko Uduak Friday and others before the state Chief Judge Justice Godwin Abraham and obtained by Vanguard in Uyo on Tuesday, the applicants prayed the court to grant an interim injunction restraining the Commission from conducting elections in the newly created wards as it would contravene sections 9,10,11 and 16 of the Constitution.
” By virtue of sections 9, 10 , 11 , 16 and 19 of the electoral Act ( as amended) for new wards to be created and used for Local Government elections by any state , the respondent must register new voters in the affected wards , issue new voters cards and published the particulars of voters in the new wards to the notice of the general public.”
Counsel to the plaintiff Barrister Imo, told the court that the state electoral umpire has not fulfilled the relevant conditions as required by law.
Delivering judgement , the state Chief Judge Justice Godwin Abraham granted prayers of the applicants pending the determination of the substantive suit and adjourned the matter till 31 of August 2020 for hearing and determination.
According to one of the applicants, Uwemedimo Udoma, the issue before the chief Judge of the state is a constitutional matter that needs accelerated hearing.
” If the matter is not treated faster, voters in the newly created 39 wards in Akwa Ibom State would be disenfranchised in the coming local government elections in the state “.
Udoma , a former Deputy speaker of Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly maintained that voters in the newly created wards may risk a one year jail term if the state electoral body does not address the matter as stipulated by law.
“It is not a matter opposition party. We approached the court as voters in our different wards facing this dillema . It is a constitutional matter devoid of political affiliation”, he said.