The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom has lost two federal constituency seats as the Election Petition Tribunal 11 sitting in Uyo on Wednesday delivered judgment in favour of the Peoples Democratic Occasion (PDP).
Seats lost to the PDP had been that of Abak/Etim Ekpo/Ika and Eket federal constituencies for which the tribunal chairman, Justice Jennifer Ijohor declared Aniekan Umanah and Pat Ifon respectively as winners.
APC candidate for Abak/Etim Ekpo/Ika federal constituency, Emmanuel Ekon had challenged the victory of Umanah of the PDP whereas Kufre Akpabio of the APC had additionally challenged the declaration of Pat Ifon of the PDP for Eket federal constituency.
Of their separate motions, the petitioners prayed the court to cancel the elections on the grounds of not being in compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act, nullify the certificates issued to the first Respondents as the winner of the February 23 elections or within the different.
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The court first gave its ruling on a movement filed by the petitioners in search of to foreclose the Respondents from defending the case on grounds that the Respondents made a typographical slip on the method.
The court held that for the reason that court had already decided a movement on that topic by dismissing the petitioners’ software in July 9, 2019, the court couldn’t as now sought by the Petitioner sit on attraction over its choice.
Nevertheless, the court dismissed the movement of the petitioner and held that the Respondents had a proper to defend the case and that they’d finished so inside the limits of the legislation.
On the benefit of the case, the court, after a assessment of the proof given by the witnesses and all paperwork earlier than the court held that the Petitioners didn’t show non-compliance with the Electoral Act and additional that the non-compliance, assuming the tribunal had been to even take into account that such was established in any little manner, was not ample non-compliance such as may considerably have an effect on the outcomes of the elections.
The court held that the proof of all of the witnesses of the Petitioners had been inadequate to show substantial non-compliance which is the one grounds that might lead the court to determine in favour of the Petitioner.
The court held that: “Proving non-compliance would require a unit by unit prove by the petitioner… consequently, the Petitioner’s attempt to use 11 polling unit agents to establish non-compliance in an election that covered over 200 polling units could achieve anything but never a proof for substantial non-compliance with the provisions of the Act”.
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