Confirmation of Ekpenyong’s election agrees with people’s verdict, says PDP
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Akwa Ibom State has said that the judgement of the election petition tribunal that confirmed Chris Ekpenyong as the winner of Akwa Ibom North-East (Ikot Ekpene) Senate seat was in line with the people’s wish.
Publicity secretary of the party, Mr. Ini Ememobong, made this assertion at the party’s secretariat in Uyo yesterday.He commended the judges for being firm against alleged intimidation and financial inducement, stressing that the confirmation of Ekpenyong’s victory was firmly rooted in law.
“The majority judgement of the tribunal is a soothing balm to the people of Ikot Ekpene who massively rejected [Godswill Akpabio] at the polls. They ensured that he lost convincingly in eight councils and had a slim victory in one.“The judgement is, therefore, a confirmation of the sanctity of the ballot, and (members of) the tribunal must be commended for their integrity and resoluteness. They stood against financial inducement, intimidation and blackmail to deliver a majority judgement that is firmly rooted in law and reflective of the socio-political temperature of the senatorial district,” he said.
Akwa Ibom PDP, therefore, called on Nigerians to ignore “baseless utterances” of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, as the people had shown through their votes that APC was not needed in the state.
In a midnight judgement on Wednesday, the tribunal had confirmed Ekpenyong as the senator representing Akwa Ibom North-East in the National Assembly.
Senator Akpabio, the first petitioner, had challenged the election of Ekpenyong, claiming that he did not garner majority of lawful votes cast at the February 23, 2019 elections for Akwa Ibom North-West senatorial district.
Stating that the petition failed to bring any witness from the polling units and thus could not prove substantial non-compliance with the Electoral Act, the court, by a majority judgement of two justices, dismissed the petition and upheld as valid the declaration of Ekpenyong as the winner of the election.