The Akwa Ibom Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal Sitting In Abuja Agrees That Governor Udom Emmanuel Won The Election But Orders Re-Run In 18 Council Areas In 90 Days
The Akwa Ibom State governorship election petition tribunal has nullified elections in 18 out of the 31 local government areas of the state.
The tribunal ordered a re-run of election in the affected local governments to be conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission within next 90 days, just as it held that Gov. Udom Emmanuel won the election having scored the highest number of valid votes.
The tribunal also held that the election “complied substantially with provisions of the law”.
Chairman of the tribunal Justice Sadiq Umar handed down nullification of the election while delivering judgment in a petition filed by the All Progressives Congress and its governorship candidate, Mr. Umana Umana.
In the judgment that lasted over seven hours, the tribunal agreed with the petitioner that there was disenfranchisement as a result of violence, snatching of election materials and irregularities and harassment of the election umpires.
However the tribunal was silent in the prayer seeking invalidation of the election of Governor Emmanuel Udom.
The tribunal had earlier dismissed the forensic report on the grounds that those who generated the report admitted in their witness statements that they were not forensic experts.
The Tribunal had in its judgment also dismissed the press statement issued by INEC on the use of card reader for the elections.
According to Justice Umar “the card reader report is not a conclusive report to ascertain the actual number of accredited voters. That press release concerning the card reader report is null and void as it offended the provisions of section 49 of the electoral act which deals on the process of accredit ion in an election”.
The affected local government areas include Etim Ekpo, Uyo, Ibesikpo, Uruan, Nsit Ibom, Nsit Atai, Eket, and Ini.
– Tony Ailemen, Abuja