Tribunal Dismisses ACN Governorship Petition Against Akpabio

Source: THEWILL. - thewillnigeria.com
AKWA IBOM STATE GOVERNOR GODSWILL AKPABIO (R) WITH LEGAL COUNSEL CHIEF BAYO OJO SAN, AFTER THE TRIBUNAL VERDICT AFFIRMING AKPABIO AS GOVERNOR.
AKWA IBOM STATE GOVERNOR GODSWILL AKPABIO (R) WITH LEGAL COUNSEL CHIEF BAYO OJO SAN, AFTER THE TRIBUNAL VERDICT AFFIRMING AKPABIO AS GOVERNOR.
Listen to article

UYO, July 18, (THEWILL) – The Governorship Election Tribunal in Akwa State has dismissed the petition filed by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and its governorship candidate in the April 2011 election, Senator John James Akpanudoedehe against the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Chief Godswill Apkabio.

The tribunal dismissed the petition on technical grounds.

The 3-member panel of justices led by Chairman, Justice Adam Onum agreed unanimously with the submissions of the lead counsel to Governor Akpabio, Chief Bayo Ojo SAN, who stated that the petition of the ACN was defective.

Chief Ojo SAN alongside lead Counsel to INEC Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu SAN had argued in their consolidated applications to the tribunal that Akpanudoedehe’s petition also failed to comply with rules guiding the filing of petitions as enshrined in the 1st schedule of the Electoral Act, 2010 {as Amended}, just like the petition of Progress Action Congress which was dismissed last week by the same Tribunal.

The Tribunal declared that pursuant to paragraph 18{3} 1st Schedule of the Electoral Act, 2010 {as Amended}, the petitioners failed to comply with paragraph 18 {1} of the Act.

Justice Onum thereafter affirmed Akpabio as the duly elected governor as declared by INEC in the April 26, 2011 guber race. The judges however did not award any costs to Akpabio.

But the ACN has vowed to appeal the ruling. Mr. Ajibola Bashiru who stood in for the lead Counsel to the ACN, Professor Yemi Osibajo said the tribunal erred in dismissing their petition

in its entirety.