Eno triumphs as Uyo tribunal quashes Udofia’s petition
The Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Uyo, yesterday, trashed a petition brought before it by the Akwa Ibom State governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Akanimo Udofia, challenging the election of Pastor Umo Eno of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as winner of the March 18, 2023 election.
Udofia asked the tribunal to disqualify Eno on the ground that he presented forged documents to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and also that he did not score the highest number of valid votes in the March 18, 2023 governorship elections.
Udofia also accused the 2nd respondent of being convicted by an Abuja Magistrate Court; hence, not qualified to be fielded for elections.
But in favour of Eno, who is the 2nd Respondent, the tribunal, in a unanimous decision, ruled that the allegation of substantial noncompliance with the electoral law in the conduct of the election was not sufficiently proven by the petitioners.
The Justice Adekunle Adeleye-led panel also unanimously ruled that the magistrate court, in its judgment, nullified its earlier conviction of Eno, and that once a judgement is nullified, it ceases to exist.
The tribunal disagreed with the petitioner on the legality of setting aside a judgement by the same magistrate. On the issue of the qualifications of the 2nd Respondent, the tribunal maintained that the Supreme Court had already determined that Eno was the authentic owner of the West African Examination Council (WAEC) certificates he submitted to INEC.
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