Why We Upheld Election of Udom Emmanuel As Akwa-Abom Governor -Supreme Court

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The supreme court on Monday explained its reasons for upholding the election of Emmanuel Udom, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as governor of Akwa Ibom state.

The apex court held that Umana Umana, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the April 11, 2015, governorship election failed to prove his allegations of malpractices and violence‎ in the poll against Udom. ‎It stated that Umana’s allegation that voters were disenfranchised in the election was untenable because he was unable to prove it in all the polling units in the state. It struck out the judgments of the election petition tribunal and the appeal for misconceiving the grounds of appeal of the APC candidate. The apex court added that the judgments were inconsistent with the law, and therefore it set it aside. On February 3, the supreme court upheld the election of Udom as governor of Akwa Ibom state.

 The court held that Udom’s appeal challenging the decision of the appeal court, which sacked him, was “meritorious.” It therefore affirmed the declaration of Udom as the winner of the April 11 governorship election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The Akwa Ibom state governorship election petition tribunal had ordered a rerun election in 18 local government areas of the state. But Umana, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), challenged the decision of the tribunal on that grounds that the April 11 governorship election in the state should have been cancelled owing to wanton irregularities. In December 2015, the appeal court gave judgment in Umana’s favour, cancelling the entire election and directed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to hold a fresh one in the state within 90 days. But Udom went to the apex court to challenge the decision of the lower court. He asked the supreme court to set aside the judgments of the lower courts for being “perverse.” In a unanimous judgment delivered by Centus Nwaeze, the apex court upheld his election‎.


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