Tribunal reserves judgment on Akwa Ibom gov tussle
The Akwa Ibom State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal has reserved its judgment in the petition challenging the validity of the election of Governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel.
Chairman of the tribunal Justice Sadiq Umar reserved judgment to a later date after the conclusion of hearing of the petition.
Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Umana Umana, had approached the tribunal challenging the conduct of the election and declaration of Udom Emmanuel as winner.
At the sitting, which lasted into the early hours of Friday, counsel to the petitioner, Wole Olanipekun SAN, told the tribunal that the purported election was alien to mankind, insisting that it was not in accordance with the Electoral Act.
Adopting his address, Olanipekun prayed the tribunal to allow the petition and grant all reliefs sought therein.
“Accreditation is a must in any election. Which accreditation did they use in this particular exercise when they failed to tender Incident Forms?” he asked.
Earlier, counsel to the 2nd Respondent (PDP), Tayo Oyetibo SAN, in a motion dated July 13, 2015, supported by an 11 paragraph affidavit and a written address, said while the petitioner was afforded the opportunity of filing a list of witnesses without disclosing their identities by virtue of Paragraph 1 and 2 of the Electoral Tribunal, and Court Practice Direction which authorizes the use of initials or letters in Witness Statement on Oath by witnesses, the provisions violates the Equal Opportunity Rule written in Section 36(1) of the 1999 Constitution in so far as the same law does not permit the Respondents to do the same.
On his part, counsel to the 1st Respondent, (Udom Emmanuel) Paul Usoro SAN, tabled two motions for an application for extension of time to write and file two reply address in support of a motion on notice dated July 5,2015 and a second reply address dated October 7, 2015. His application however was objected to by Olanipekun.