Tri­bunal re­serves judg­ment on Akwa Ibom gov tus­sle

Daily Trust - - INSIDE POLITICS - By Ade­lanwa Bamg­boye

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.

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