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Udom still the Governor of Akwa ibom state

The Supreme Court has
upheld the election of Udom
Emmanuel of the Peoples
Democratic Party as governor
of the oil-rich Akwa Ibom
State.
The court gave the ruling
validating the April 11
governorship election on
Wednesday night but did not
provide reasons for its
judgment.
The court reversed the
decision of the Court of
Appeal, which nullified Mr.
Udom’s election.
The Supreme Court ruled that
Mr. Udom of the Peoples
Democratic Party, PDP, won
the lawfully cast votes in the
April 11, 2015 election.
Full details of the ruling
would be provided on a
February 15, the court said.
Background
The Court of Appeal sitting in
Abuja had on December 18
nullified the Akwa Ibom State
governorship election of April
11, removing Mr. Emmanuel,
from office.
Mr. Emmanuel’s election was
challenged by the candidate of
the All Progressives Congress,
Umana Umana.
At the election tribunal, Mr. Emmanuel of
the Peoples Democratic Party, had
secured partial victory, with the election
cancelled only in 18 out of the state’s 31
local government areas.
The tribunal had ordered a rerun.
Mr. Emmanuel had challenged the ruling,
insisting he won in all 31 LGAs.
The APC candidate, Mr. Umana, also
appealed against the ruling, seeking a
total nullification of the election.
But a five-man panel at the Court of
Appeal dismissed Mr. Emmanuel’s
argument, and cancelled the entire
election.
The appeal court had said the tribunal
was wrong in its refusal to comply with
section 179 (2) of the Constitution.
The court said having agreed with the
evidence of principal witnesses, video
evidence, and evidence from state
collation agents, the tribunal should have
concluded that there was no collation and
that votes were merely allotted.
“The question is, if there was no collation,
can there be said to be an election,” the
court asked. “Indeed where there was no
collation of election, there cannot be said
to be an election.”
The tribunal was wrong in failing to
nullify the entire election, the court ruled,
setting aside the judgement of the
tribunal in the 13 LGAs.
“The entire election is hereby nullified.
The election that brought Mr. Udom is
hereby nullified,” it ruled.
The appeal court then ordered the
Independent National Electoral
Commission to conduct fresh election
within 90 days.
That verdict has now been upturned by
the Supreme Court, and Mr. Emmanuel
can now breathe a sigh of relief.
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Supreme Court upholds
Udom Emmanuel’s
election as Akwa Ibom
Governor
February 3, 2016 Evelyn Okakwu
Governor Udom Emmanuel, Akwa Ibom
State Gover

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