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Akwa Ibom: Tribunals Orders Fresh Gov. Election in 18 LG’s

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Akwa Ibom governorship election petition tribunal sitting in Abuja on Wednesday declined upholding the election of Emmanuel Udom as the winner of the April 11 governorship election in Akwa Ibom state.

However, the tribunal held that though the election was not free of flaws, it “complied with substantially with provisions of the law”.

It therefore resolved that Udom scored the highest number of votes in the election.

It also held that Umana Umana, candidate of‎ All Progressives Congress (APC), who is challenging Udom’s victory in the April 11 election, could not prove his case against the National Independent Electoral Commission (INEC), the second respondent in the suit, and therefore the presumption of regularity is in favour of the commission.

Nevertheless, stating that that right to vote was a constitutional guaranteed right and nobody should be disenfranchised‎, the tribunal therefore held that “there was disenfranchisement of voters in some polling units in the state and sequel to this, the election in Uyo local government area was inconclusiv‎e”.

It observed that the election in some other local government areas did not comply with the provisions of the law, adding that 566,436 voters were disenfranchised as against‎ 890,000 voters in favour of Udom in 18 local government areas‎.

The tribunal therefore ordered INEC to conduct a fresh election in 18 local government areas out of the 31 local government areas in the state.

‎Some of the local government areas where a fresh election will be conducted include Etim Ekpo, Uyo, Ibesikpo, Uruan, Nsit Ibom, Nsit Atai, Eket, and Ini.

However, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said it will appeal against the judgment.‎

Source: The Cable