Governors Emmanuel, Ikpeazu Win at Supreme Court

Supreme Court of Nigeria sitting in Abuja has affirmed the election of Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State and that of Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State.
As of time of filing this report of Taraba State is still awaited.
Governor Udom was the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), candidate in the April 11, 2015 governorship election in the state, where he beat the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Umana Umana.
The election of Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State was earlier annulled by the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja, which in its lead judgment held that the state election petitions tribunal erred by only voiding election results from 18 out of the 31 Local Government Areas, LGAs, ‎in the state.
In a unanimous judgment del‎ivered by Justice Adefunke Okojie, on December 18, 2015, the five-man panel of Justices voided the Certificate of Return that was issued to Governor Emmanuel ‎by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC. It ordered the electoral body to conduct a fresh governorship election in the state within 90 days.
Noting that the tribunal was wrong in its refusal to comply with section 179 (2) of the Constitution, the higher court averred that having agreed with the evidence of principal witnesses, video evidence, and evidence from state collation agents, the tribunal would 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, adding that “Indeed where there was no collation of election, there cannot be said to be an election.”
The appellate court which maintained that the tribunal was wrong in failing to nullify the entire election, the court ruled, setting aside the judgment of the tribunal in the 13 LGAs, ruled that “The entire election is hereby nullified. The election that brought Mr. Udom is hereby nullified”.
Emmanuel had appealed against the decision.
The Supreme Court said it would give reasons for its decisions February 15.
Also, the Governor of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu had his election handed back as against the Court of Appeal judgment that voided his election and declared Alex Otti of APGA the winner.

Author: News Editor

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