Friday, 18 December 2015

Appeal Court Affirms Akwa Ibom Tribunal Ruling

An Appeal Court sitting in Abuja on Friday, December 19, affirmed a tribunal judgement on the Akwa Ibom state gubernatorial election which ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct fresh governorship election in 18 out of the 31 local government areas of Akwa Ibom state.

A five-man panel of judges at the appellate court unanimously dismissed an interlocutory application filed by the flag bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Emmanuel Udom over the lack of locus standi of the petitioners, the All Progressive Party Congress (APC) and its candidate, Umana Umana.

The application also challenged the jurisdiction of the tribunal to entertain the case.

But in its decision, the Appeal Court, affirmed that the April 11 gubernatorial election in the 18 local government areas in the state where election were cancelled was not conducted in substantial compliance with Section 85(1) Electoral Act 2010.

The court also said that there were inconsistency in the number of voters accredited during the election.

However, the court is still yet to deliver its judgement on Umana’s appeal against the tribunal’s judgement in which, he is seeking a total cancellation of the election results.

On Wednesday, October 21, an election tribunal nullified the elections that took place in 18 out of 31 local government areas in Akwa Ibom state without unseating the governor.

The tribunal held that electins were not properly conducted in these local governments. It also ordered a re-run of the election by the the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the affected local government areas.