Judex Okoro, Calabar
Former Senate Leader, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba has told the Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Calabar that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) excluded him from the list of candidates for the February 23, 2019, National Assembly elections.
Ndoma Egba disclosed this during his cross-examination by counsels to the defendants, Dr Sandy Onor, Mr Patrick Akan, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s Joe Agi (SAN), and INEC’s counsel, Professor Jacob Dada.
Besides, his counsel, Chief Emeka Offodile, leading 15 other lawyers, argued that his name was excluded from the result sheet of INEC. The former NDDC Chairman had dragged Dr Onor, the PDP and INEC to the Election Petition Tribunal over the February 23 senatorial election for Cross River Central that INEC declared Onor as the winner. Counsels to the defendants had in their cross-examination tried to establish that Ndoma-Egba participated in the elections despite the letter from INEC and the various court rulings from the Federal High Court and the Appeal Court and that the letter from INEC removing the name of Ndoma-Egba and others from list of candidates from APC was based on a Federal High Court order that was not set aside by any court.
According to him, he only voted for the presidential election and could not vote for himself in the election as INEC had earlier removed his name from the list of candidates despite an order on February 20 from the Court of Appeal directing “all parties to maintain status quo.”
Relying on the letter from INEC, Ndoma-Egba contended that the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Cross River State, Dr Frankland Briyai, had on the eve of the February 23 election in a press briefing in INEC office, Calabar announced the removal of “all APC candidates” names from the list of candidates for the general elections in pursuant to an order of court with suit number FHC/HA/CS/731/2018 between Godwin Etim John vs the APC and others.