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Governor Udom Emmanuel still in charge as tribunal orders rerun in 18 Akwa Ibom LGAs
Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State

Governor Udom Emmanuel still in charge as tribunal orders rerun in 18 Akwa Ibom LGAs

 

Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr. Emmanuel Udom would have to reclaim his mandate by recontesting election in 18 of the State’s 31 Local Government Areas, so says the  Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Abuja.

In a ruling that lasted over 7hours on Wednesday, the Akwa Ibom State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja nullified the results of the April 11 governorship election in 18 local governments of the state and validated the results from 13. It said the election in the affection local government areas were marred by violence and other infractions-but rejected the prayers of the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidadate, Umana Okon Umana to remove the governor and declare him the winner of the polls.

Tribunal led by Justice Sadiq Umar dismissed INEC statement mandating the use of card readers for the election saying it violated section 49 of the Electoral Act.Tribunal dismissed the forensic report tendered by the petitioner on the ground that the persons that generated the report are not forensic professionals.

“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 with the process of accreditation in an election,” Justice Umar said in the ruling.

Some of the affected LGAs are Nsit Ubium, Nsit Ibom, Ibiono, Uyo, Etinan, Udung Uko, Oruk Anam, Etim Ekpo, Onna, Uruan, Ikono, Ini, Ibesikpo, Nsit Atai, Eket, Ibeno and Ikot Abasi. The Tribunal also ordered INEC to conduct fresh elections within 90 days.

Mr. Paul Usoro, SAN, lawyer for Udom and the PDP noted that the judgement did not nullify the entire election which means Governor Udom and the other members of the House of Assembly elected on the same day were still retain their positions.

Mr. Uwen Nwoko, the lawyer for Mr. Umana said some sections of the judgement deserves a second look and he and his team are going to study it and then determine their next line of action.

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