Fidelity bank card banner Emerald Energy Institute Camano banner

2019 Polls: Senator Akpabio was robbed of victory — Justice Hafizu

By News Express on 12/09/2019

Gmail icon

Views: 910

•Senator Akpabio
•Senator Akpabio

A member of the  National Assembly Elections Petition Tribunal sitting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Justice Sheriff Hafizu, has said that there were preponderance of evidence to prove that the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, was robbed of victory in the February 23 National Assembly election.

Justice Hafizu in a split judgement yesterday, Wednesday, September 11, 2019 held that it was his view that Senator Akpabio overwhelmingly won the election and ought to have been returned as the duly elected Senator for Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District.

Engr Chris Ekpenyong of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was declared winner of the Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Senator Akpabio had challenged Ekpenyong’s declaration at the National Assembly Elections Petition Tribunal sitting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom, citing unlawful cancellation of his collated votes by INEC to give his opponent an edge in the election.

Delivering judgement on the petition  Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice W. O. Akanbi, with the concurrence of Justice Ebetu dismissed the petition and upheld the declaration of Engr. Ekpenyong as the winner of the February 23 National Assembly elections into Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District.

However in his dissenting judgement, Justice Hafizu held that the contention of the Respondents that Senator Akpabio ought to have called unit polling agents to prove his case was wrong since Akpabio had not challenged the results of the units and therefore there was nothing to prove.

According to Justice Hafizu, the case of Senator Akpabio centred on cancellation of duly collated votes at INEC office which went beyond the units. He cited the case of Dr William who had admitted during trial that Senator Akpabio’s votes were altered in INEC office in Uyo on the instructions of the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr Mike Igini, and said such alterations were unlawful.

He said he found merit in the petitioner’s case that his collated votes which showed that he won the election was surreptitiously and unilaterally cancelled by an INEC official so as to hand over victory to Engr. Ekpenyong.

Justice Hafizu also held that from evidence adduced during the trial it was obvious that the Returning Officer had cancelled the votes of Obot Akara Local Government Area due to an established case of over voting and said it was wrong for the same cancelled result to be revalidated in INEC office in Uyo.

The Minority Judge held that the witnesses paraded by the respondents were unreliable as they gave contradictory evidence during trial. He cited cases of witnesses who had alleged that they were abducted by APC thugs and forced to thumb print for the party only for card reader reports to put a lie to such claim, a contention that the majority judgement glossed over.

According to Justice Hafizu, INEC was wrong to have cancelled the 61,329 votes garnered by APC in Essien Udim Local Government Area against PDP score of 9,050 votes. He said the unlawful cancellation of the votes was a clear case of robbery since it did not follow the due process of INEC guidelines.

The majority judgement also glossed over evidences that were given in the case including certified true copies of results released by INEC which were tendered by the Petitioners. It also remained mute on the Police reports that the elections were free, fair and credible.

Accordingly Justice Hafizu voided the declaration of Engr. Ekpenyong as the winner of the election and declared his return invalid. He also declared Senator Akpabio as the winner of the election having garnered majority of the lawful votes and ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission to present a certificate of return to Senator Akpabio as the duly elected Senator of Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District.

Attendees and lawyers at the Tribunal openly applauded the judgement of Justice Hafizu, describing it as sound and bound to stand the test of time and devoid of any pecuniary consideration but justice delivery. Supporters of Senator Akpabio jubilated and congratulated themselves on the minority judgement.

Counsel to Senator Akpabio, Mr Adekunle Oyesanya, SAN, praised Justice Hafizu for his courage in giving the dissenting judge represented the position of the law.

News Express reports that a lawyer and human right activist, Barrister Leo Ekpenyong, had raised an alarm penultimate week in a widely published article: “Judgemnt for sale" alleged that two members of the National Assembly elections petition tribunal in Akwa Ibom State had been compromised predicting that there would be a split in the judgement the Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District matter.

Source News Express

Posted 12/09/2019 1:00:06 PM

 

 

CLASSIFIED ADS

 

You may also like...
Group indicts Ibadan Poly Rector over attempt on...

Dapchi: IGP recants after Boko Haram fails to...

How gang war led to Anambra church massacre:...

Akwa Ibom lawmakers dissolve LG councils

Group calls for suspension of Ebonyi APC guber...

2019: PDP Youth Vanguard backs Modu Sheriff, says...

It’s no longer rumour: Aso Rock moves to...

INEC sensitises Enugu communities on voters’ registration, accountability...

US Embassy resumes consular services in Abuja, apologises...

IG orders high alert as policemen threaten strike...

FG restores History into Education Curricula

N344b cash: Kogi APC stakeholders reject Bello for...

 

Latest News 2 killed as gunmen storm Rivers communities Rape case: Fatoyinbo files preliminary objection, says Busola’s case ‘filed out of time’ Akpabio announces plans for industrial clusters in Niger Delta Magashi and challenges of national security Delta tribunal verdict fair, just, well-deserved, says Oyovbaire •Condemns court action as unnecessary Hostage regains freedom after 4 years in pirates’ custody PDP heads for Appeal Court as tribunal upholds Governor Masari’s re-election NNPC unveils plans to revamp refineries from January 2020 Obi advises Nigerian universities to look inwards No meeting between Dickson and Sylva — PDP Youth Network Okowa to Christians: Dedicate your life to serving God Another perspective on xenophobic attacks, By Odimegwu Onwumere

 

Most Read NUDE PHOTO OF OMOTOLA JALADE-EKEINDE surfaces online (542,623 views) Nigerian female sex addict opens up, says ‘I like it with both men and women’ (443,885 views) Shameless Genevieve Nnaji exposes breasts in public (390,367 views) Finally named: The full list of friends of Nigerian female sex addict who prowled Facebook (327,231 views) OLUMBA OLUMBA OBU (the one who called himself God) IS DEAD (295,388 views) Igbo scholar disgraces Femi Fani-Kayode •Demolishes claims on Igbo/Yoruba history with facts and figures (254,043 views) Breaking News: POPULAR REVEREND CONVERTS TO ISLAM in Kaduna (Nigeria) (250,340 views) 10 cars more expensive than Jets (239,139 views) OBJ’s son reported dead in Lagos plane crash •Names of more victims emerge (232,033 views) My wasted years in Olumba Olumba Obu’s Evil Brotherhood (218,020 views) Lagos plane crash: Journalist releases victims’ names (196,298 views) THE FINAL DISGRACE: Igbo scholar unleashes more facts about Igbo/Yoruba history, finishes off Femi Fani-Kayode with second article (193,872 views)

 

CBN milk production

CBN banner advert

UBA Wise Savers Promo

 

Categories Advertorials (3) African Press Organisation (81) Art & Literature (102) Business & Economy (4,454) Business Verdict (80) Columnists (1,113) Complaints & Requests (96) Enterprise & Opportunities (215) Entertainment (666) Features (815) Global Business Monitor (445) ICT Monitor (63) International (3,972) Interview (203) Live Commentary (30) Love Matters (171) Maggie's Blog (418) News (51,603) Opinion (1,364) Pidgin (17) Politics (11,469) Religion (1,103) Sports (2,173) Stock Watch (39) AMA & Al Jazeera Global Update

 

 

 

 

 

 

APO Group Partner

 

 

CLASSIFIED ADS

GOCOP Accredited Member

GOCOP Accredited member

 

 

Africa Media Agency and Al Jazeera