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By NBF News
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Akwa Ibom State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Uyo on Monday struck out the petition of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and its gubernatorial candidate, Senator John Akpanudoedehe who challenged the re-election of Chief Godswill Akpabio as Governor of Akwa Ibom State.

The three-member tribunal presided over by Justice Ayuba Kwajafar in a unanimous decision 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.

Counsel to Akpabio, Aniefiok Dennis and Uwemedimo Nwoko told newsmen that the tribunal had no option but to abide by the constitutional provisions.

According to Dennis, the judgement was no surprise since the Supreme Court's earlier ruling in Borno State clearly made it obvious that the petitions from the April 2011 governorship elections had exceeded their lifespan since November 2011 as provided in Section 285(6) of the constitution.

Reacting, Akpabio said he had never been distracted, as he always remained focused on transforming the lives of his people.

This, he said, was evident in the recent award of contract for an ultra-modern terminal building at the Akwa Ibom International Airport, the soon to commence work at an Olympic-sized stadium in Uyo, the ongoing multi-lane third ring road, and several other roads network in the state.

Akpabio said with the dismissal of the case, he would re-double his efforts to reposition Akwa Ibom like never before.

Citing the book of Ecclesiastes 3:1, Akpabio posited that there was time for everything and as such the time had come for an end to the battle by the opposition in the state, even as he invited them to join him in his uncommon transformation revolution.

'I will be very glad to integrate them into the polity,' the governor said.

The state Commissioner for Information, Aniekan Umanah on his part said it was victory for the people of the state, adding that the Akpabio's judicial victory was an affirmation of the overwhelming mandate given him by the generality of the people.

Umanah urged the people to continue to support good governance as exemplified by the governor Akpabio.

Also speaking, Emmanuel Enoidem told reporters that the ruling means the governor and everyone will be more focused on the development of the state.

'Those of us who used to attend the tribunal will now remain in our offices for more important issues, and our responsibilities and assignments will receive better attention,' Enoidem who is also the commissioner for Housing and Urban Renewal said.

Etido Inyang said it was a clear case of respect for the rule of law by the judiciary, while Chief Nse Ntuen urged the people to have trust in Akpabio.