Posted by News Express | 3 February 2016 | 3,416 times
Governor Udom Emmauel has floored his arch-rival, Mr Umana Umana of the All Progressives Congress (APC), at the Supreme Court to retain his seat as Governor of Akwa Ibom State.
The apex court in a ruling delivered minutes ago dismissed Umana’s legal challenge, declaring Emmanuel, of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as the validly elected governor of the state.
The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja had on December 18, 2015 nullified the Akwa Ibom State governorship election held on April 11, 2015 and won by Emmanuel. Nearly two months earlier the Akwa Ibom Governorship Election Petition Tribunal had nullified elections in 18 local governments and ordered a re-run.
After the judgement of the tribunal headed by Justice Sadiq Umar, on October 21, APC and its Umana filed an appeal at the appellate court in Abuja, challenging the judgment of the tribunal. They faulted the tribunal’s judgment on grounds of “miscarriage of justice and turning upside-down, the head of the natural justice.”
The two appellants asked the appellate court to set aside the judgment of the tribunal in relation to the validation of election results in 13 local government areas of the state.
According to them, by nullifying elections in 18 out of 31 local government areas, Section 179(2)(b) of the Nigerian Constitution, which required that a candidate vying for the office of the governor would be declared winner if he gets not less than one quarter of the votes cast at the election in each of at least two-thirds of the local government areas, has been breached.
They claimed that the tribunal erred in not nullifying the election of Governor Emmanuel in its entirety since he did not meet the mandatory number needed to retain his seat – an argument which was upheld by the appellate court.
•Photo Governor Udom Emmanuel.
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