The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom has lost two federal constituency seats as the Election Petition Tribunal 11 sitting in Uyo on Wednesday delivered judgment in favour of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Seats lost to the PDP were that of Abak/Etim Ekpo/Ika and Eket federal constituencies for which the tribunal chairman, Justice Jennifer Ijohor declared Aniekan Umanah and Pat Ifon respectively as winners. APC candidate for Abak/Etim Ekpo/Ika federal constituency, Emmanuel Ekon had challenged the victory of Umanah of the PDP while Kufre Akpabio of the APC had also challenged the declaration of Pat Ifon of the PDP for Eket federal constituency.
In their separate motions, the petitioners prayed the court to cancel the elections on the grounds of not being in compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act, nullify the certificate issued to the 1st Respondents as the winner of the February 23 elections or in the alternative.
The court first gave its ruling on a motion filed by the petitioners seeking to foreclose the Respondents from defending the case on grounds that the Respondents made a typographical slip on the process.
The court held that since the court had already determined a motion on that subject by dismissing the petitioners’ application in July 9, 2019, the court could not as now sought by the Petitioner sit on appeal over its decision.
However, the court dismissed the motion of the petitioner and held that the Respondents had a right to defend the case and that they had done so within the limits of the law.
On the merit of the case, the court, after a review of the evidence given by the witnesses and all documents before the court held that the Petitioners did not prove non-compliance with the Electoral Act and further that the non-compliance, assuming the tribunal were to even consider that such was established in any little way, was not sufficient non-compliance such as could substantially affect the results of the elections.
The court held that the evidence of all the witnesses of the Petitioners were insufficient to prove substantial non-compliance which is the only grounds that could lead the court to decide in favour of the Petitioner.
The court held that: “Proving non-compliance would require a unit by unit prove by the petitioner… consequently, the Petitioner’s attempt to use 11 polling unit agents to establish non-compliance in an election that covered over 200 polling units could achieve anything but never a proof for substantial non-compliance with the provisions of the Act”.
Tribunal Affirms Ihedioha’s Election As Imo Governor
The Imo State Election Tribunal has affirmed the election of Emeka Ihedioha as governor of the state.
The chairman of the tribunal, Justice Umar Dogondaji, in his ruling on Saturday, dismissed the petition of Senator Hope Uzodinma because he did not discharge the burden of proof of the allegation that his results were excluded from the final results of the election.
He also dismissed the petition of the All Progressives Grand Alliance and its governorship candidate Senator Ifeanyi Arareume for lacking in merit as well as that of the candidate of the Action Alliance Party, Mr. Uche Nwosu, for incompetence.
The witnesses were discredited under cross-examination.
They all confirmed that there was no signature of the presiding officers on the documents they tendered as the results of the election in the various units in the state.
The judgment was delivered at the FCT High Court in Jabi, Abuja after a briefing in Owerri, the Imo State capital, where it had received and entertained several petitions.
The governorship candidates of the Action Alliance, All Progressives Congress, (APC) and All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), had filed petitions at the tribunal asking it to nullify the election of Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on the ground that he was unlawfully declared as the governor of the state by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)
Ten Wedding Guests Died In Ekiti Road Crash
An accident involving wedding guest in Ekiti has occurred along Ado-Ikere road of the state which left many dead and several injured
At least 10 wedding guests have died in a motor accident on the Ikere-Ado Road in Ekiti State.
Several others also sustained injuries in the accident.
The accident involved an 18 seater bus with registration number Ekiti LG 05 MUE.
Eyewitnesses confirmed that the victims were returning from a wedding reception when the tragedy occured.
One witness, Abiodun, told Dammylink that the driver lost control of the vehicle’s wheel.
He said, “The vehicle was speeding and summasulted several times immediately the driver lost control of the wheel.
“I counted at least 10 bodies on the road before the arrival of officials of Federal Road Safety Corps.
Government Grants Amnesty To 13 Armed Bandits
Niger State Government has granted amnesty to 13 suspected armed bandits that were arrested by security operatives along Kontonkoro axis in Magama Local Government Area of the state.
Gov. Abubakar Bello disclosed this while delivering a keynote address at the 2nd General Abdulsalami Abubakar Foundation Annual Peace Lecture on Saturday in Minna.
He said the bandits were released based on the dialogue and peace deal as well as agreement reached by the government and the bandits from the area in August.
The governor said the peace accord reached had led to a gradual reduction in activities of armed bandits
and kidnappings in the area.
“After hearing them on why they decided to engage themselves in such activities, we had to go into a peace agreement with them in the interest of peace and for them to help us with useful information to tackle spate of insecurity in the state,” he said.
The governor noted that they have been cooperating and helping security agencies with useful information on how to identify unrepentant bandits who were still terrorising the state.
He said the repentant suspects have been engaged into various trade and skill acquisition programmes, adding that the same approach would be applied with bandits in Pandogari, Allawa and Erena areas of the state, NAN reports.
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