Appeal panel orders rerun election in part of Ikot Ekpene Senatorial
The Appeal Court in Calabar, yesterday, ordered a fresh election in parts of Ikot Ekpene Senatorial and Ikot Ekpene/Obot Akara/Essiem Udim Federal Constituency.
Specifically, the Appeal panel led by three Appeal Court judges Justice S. Tanko Hussen, and Justices M. Bolaji-Yusuf and M. Mustapha ordered a rerun in Essien Udim Local Government Area to determine the winner for Ikot Ekpene Senatorial and Ikot Ekpene/Obot Akara/Essien Udim Federal Constituency. Thus, the appeal of Senator Godswill Akpabio of the All
Progressives Congress (APC) challenging the decision of the lower tribunal in Uyo and the election of Senator Chris Ekpenyong of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for Ikot Ekpene Senatorial and that of Akpan Sunday of APC and others against Ekong Nsikak of PDP for Ikot Ekpene/Obot Akara/Essien Udim
Federal Constituency succeeded in parts. The Judges in a unanimous judgment at resumption by 3.27 pm in a brief judgment ruled that the election in Essien Udim was characterised with lots of violence and in accordance with the Electoral Act, such election cannot stand, hence a fresh election in that area was ordered but however dismissed other issues Akpabio and Sunday canvassed in other areas as they could not prove it.
Accordingly, the Appeal panel set aside the decision of the lower tribunal and ordered for a re-run in Essien Udim within 90 days with effect from yesterday, and ordered INEC to withdraw the certificate of return issued to Ekpenyong and Nsikak.
However Mr. Patrick Ifon of PDP for Eket/Esit Eket/Ibeno/Onna Federal Constituency won in the appeal brought against him by Kufre Akpabio of APC and the tribunal dismissed the appeal by Akpabio as all the four issues raised by him failed.
The Cross-appeal by Ekpenyong and Nsikak was however struck out, as Justice Tanko said: “the Cross appeal is incompetent and is hereby struck out”. Earlier the appeal panel had struck out two House of Assembly cases by APC for filing out of time while judgment was reserved for four others.
Counsel to senator Akpabio and Sunday, Mr Paulinus Idio thanked the Appeal panel for the judgment saying, “my lord we are very grateful for the well-considered good judgment”.
Also commenting on the judgment, the Attorney General of Akwa Ibom State and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Uwemedimo Nwoko said “ it has been what I would like to describe as a misfortune for both parties. There were losers and winners in the judgment of today. I am not a mathematician, I would have given you the percentage.
“It has been misfortunes. I want to commend their Lordship for the judgment of today. It has been a tedious job over this period of time in the Court of Appeal. It is a national service and they must be commended for committing so much time and energy on this exercise. This is the final court and so every party must abide by their judgment”.
He said “For elections that were nullified partially must be inclusive. As a party in Akwa Ibom, we are satisfied with the judgement. All we need to do is to go back home and talk to our people and prepare on how to win the re-run. Generally, we have nothing against the judgment”
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