Akwa Ibom’s rerun polls
SIR: The recent judgment handed down by an election tribunal ordering a rerun of the April 11, 2015 Akwa Ibom governorship election in 18 local government areas of the state owing to proven election malpractices and irregularities would no doubt be received with mixed feelings.
First, the tribunals give much emphasis to flimsy technicalities and often dismiss several petitions on such grounds.
While the petitioner (APC) would root for outright cancellation of the entire voting exercise, taking into cognisance the allegation of undue wide gap between the number of voters accredited and the jumbo results declared by INEC, the respondents (PDP) on the other hand might feel comfortable with the judgment depending on the dimension and extent the party in power was able to successfully manipulate the results.
In a nutshell, rerun or no rerun and going by Nigerian politics, the success already achieved by the responding PDP in going scot free despite perpetuation of widespread manipulations in the upheld areas might be the game plan that would still give a win to the already declared winner in the first place.
First, the tribunals give much emphasis to flimsy technicalities and often dismiss several petitions on such grounds. Secondly, they often summarise all arguments and evidences brought before them as having failed to prove the case ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ – an ambiguous phase now so popularly and notoriously used to dismiss many competent cases.
Since there is more than meets the eye in the LGAs where election results were duly upheld by the tribunal and at the backdrop of the notoriety of the state in the declaration of fabulous and fantastic results in all the elections in March and April 2015, similar to what also obtained in Rivers State, Nigerians would have expected nothing short of outright cancellation of the Akwa Ibom governorship election as was the case with the judgment declared by the Rivers State Election Tribunal on the Rivers State governorship election.
• Odunayo Joseph,
Mopa, Kogi State.