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  • News - South South - Akwa Ibom
  • Updated: November 11, 2023

Akwa Ibom: Court dismisses appeal of AA, AP guber candidates

Akwa Ibom: Court dismisses appeal of AA, AP guber candidates

An appeal court in Lagos State has dismissed two separate appeals against the election of Governor Umo Eno of Akwa Ibom State by the Governorship candidates of the Action Alliance, Akpan Jeremiah and that of the Accord Party, Engr Emem Coffie for lacking in merit.

It however upheld the ruling of the tribunal which affirmed the victory of Pastor Eno as the duly elected governor of Akwa Ibom. 

The governorship candidate of the Accord Party, Engr. Emem Coffie had approached the Appeal Court, seeking that the judgement of the lower trial tribunal be upturned in his favour. 

Counsel to Coffie and Accord Party, Chidi Nwachukwu argued that his client deserved to be declared the Governor as other candidates in the election were not qualified to contest the election. 

But counsel to Governor Umo Eno, Paul Usoro, SAN, Counsel to INEC, Kolapo Kolade, SAN and Mofesomo Oyetibo faulted the claims by the appellants that 800 polling units recorded infractions, saying no effort was made by the petitioners to identify the 800 units, neither was there any attempt to bring witnesses from any of the said polling units. 

The respondents also told the court that the only witness the appellants brought, was the Governorship candidate, Emem Coffie who admitted that he was only in his polling unit and after voting on the said date, went to his house.

They insisted that the appellants acted on 'hearsay' which was the reason their petition was thrashed at the tribunal. 

Also in the appeal filed by Akpan Abraham of the Action Alliance against the 15th September judgment of the Governorship Election Tribunal, he and his party claimed to be unlawfully excluded by INEC.

The respondents in their separate briefs urged the court to discountenance the appeal by AA as abuse of court process arguing that the suit constitutes a pre-election matter bothering on internal party disputes, which the party itself failed to resolve before the elections.

Delivering judgement on Friday, the Appellate Court in Lagos upheld the arguments of the respondents and dismissed the case as lacking in merit.

Meanwhile, the Appeal Court also heard the appeal brought before it by the Candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Mr Akanimo Udofia and the candidate of the New Nigerian Peoples Party, Sen John Akpanudoedehe.

 

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