Tribunal Order INEC To Rerun Gubernatorial Elections In Akwa Ibom

Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel
Share this story.

The Akwa Ibom State Governorship Tribunal on Wednesday ordered a rerun of the governorship election in the state.
The tribunal ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct re-run election in 18 local government areas of the state within 90 days. It listed the local governments as Etim-Ekpo, Uyo, Ibesikpo, Onna, Ikono, Oruk-Anam, Uruan, Ibeno, Ibiono Ibom, Nsit-Ibom, Nsit-Ubium, Ini, Oron, Nsit-Atai, Etinan, Udung-Uko and Eket. There are 31 local councils in Akwa Ibom.
The three-man panel of Justices at the tribunal, headed by Justice Ishaq Umar, said it was satisfied that there were discrepancies during the governorship election held on April 11.
Although the petitioners, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its governorship candidate in Akwa Ibom State, Chief Umana Okon Umana, alleged that the governorship poll was fraught with manifest irregularities, the tribunal, maintained that the alleged electoral anomalies and non-compliance with the Electoral Act, were not enough to warrant outright nullification of election results from all the 31 LGAs in the state.
The tribunal dismissed preliminary objections that were raised against the petition by Governor Udom Emmanuel and his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The two respondents had urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition for want of merit.
They contended that the APC did not field a valid candidate at the poll. The respondents argued that the notice APC gave to INEC before it conducted its primaries that produced Umana as its governorship candidate for the April 11 poll, failed to meet the compulsory 21 days stipulated by the Electoral Act.
The tribunal overruled PDP on the premise that the issue of nomination of candidate for an election was a pre-election matter that was outside its mandate.
The petitioners, through a total of 58 witnesses produced in the course of the proceedings, told the tribunal that the governorship election was a sham.
The tribunal said it was satisfied that a total of 566, 436 voters in the areas were disenfranchised during the governorship election that held in the state on April 11, 2015. According to the tribunal, Section 108(2) of the Electoral Act, empowered it to, in view of circumstances that surrounded the governorship election in the 18 LGAs, nullify the outcome and order INEC to organise a re-run.
“This petition partly succeeded. INEC is hereby ordered to conduct a re-run election in 18 LGAs. There will be no order as to cost. Parties are to bear their cost,” the tribunal ruled.
Witnesses that testified before the tribunal that gubernatorial election did not hold in the state included former Governor Victor Attah, and erstwhile Minister of Petroleum Resources, Don Etiebet.

Share this story.


Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.