National House of Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Calabar has removed a House of Representative member, Mr Alex Egbonna, of the All Progressives Congress (APC) representing Abi/Yakurr Federal Constituency of Cross River state.
The chairman of the 3-man tribunal, Justice Vincent Agbata, Wednesday ruled that Egbonna was not qualified to contest the election in the first place.
Egbonna contested against the petitioner, Mr John-Gaul Lebo of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who was the Speaker of the state House of Representatives.
Lebo had approached the tribunal to annul the February 23 House of Representative election for massive irregularities by Egbonna as well as the fact that the respondent was not the rightful candidate of the APC.
Delivering judgement on the petition, Justice Agbata declared that as at the 23rd of February. 2019, “Egbonna was not qualified to contest the election of Abi/Yakurr constituency of Cross River state.”
Agbata declared the votes which Egbonna scored in the said election as defiant votes and therefore invalid and unlawful.
He further declared that the PDP candidate, John Lebo, who scored the highest number of valid votes in the said election as winner. The judge directed that the Certificate of Return wrongly issued to Egbonna by INEC should be withdrawn immediately and issued to Lebo of the PDP.