The Akwa Ibom State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Uyo, on Monday struck out the petition of the Action Congress of Nigeria and its gubernatorial candidate, Senator James John Akpanudoedehe.
The Tribunal struck out the petition based on the recent Supreme Court judgment which affirmed that election matters must be disposed of within the constitutionally stipulated 180 days.
It will be recalled that Bayo Ojo SAN, counsel to Governor Akpabio had submitted an application on January 6, 2012 in which he cited Section 285(6) of the 1999 Constitution to back up his argument that the Tribunal lacked requisite authority to extend the time beyond the 180 days stipulated by the constitution. Ojo had stated in the application that “it is submitted with respect that the 180 days within which judgment must be delivered in writing in this petition having lapsed on November 12, last year, this petition suffers a natural death and your Lordships ceased to have jurisdiction to continue to hear and determine this petition. Your Lordships are humbly urged to so hold. I sympathise with the petitioners. No matter how bad the situation is, that is the law. I therefore humbly urged your Lordships to strike out the petition due to effluxion in time. Anything contrary will amount to judicial rascality.”