The Supreme Court has upheld the election of Udom Emmanuel of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as governor of the Akwa Ibom State. The judgment was delivered by Justice Cintus Nweze around 9:40pm Wednesday.
In the ruling validating the April 11 governorship election, the court set aside the judgments of the two lower court which nullified Mr. Udom’s election stating that he won the lawfully cast votes in the election. The court said reasons for the verdicts would be given on February 15.
It should be recalled that the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja had on December 18, nullified the Akwa Ibom State governorship election of April 11, removing Emmanuel from office as his election was challenged by the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Umana Umana, even though the election tribunal had only cancelled the election in 18 local governments in the state only.
The Court of Appeal also ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct fresh election within 90 days, but Udom Emmanuel challenged the ruling of the Appeal Court insisting he won in all 31 LGAs.
The court similarly validated the election of Okezie Ikpeazu of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) as governor of Abia state.
The court ruled that Mr. Ikpeazu of the PDP won the lawfully cast votes in the April 11, 2015 election saying full details of the ruling would be provided on Friday, February 26.
Mr. Ikpeazu’s election was also nullified by the a Court of Appeal sitting in Owerri on December 31. The court had ordered him to vacate his seat as the state governor and declared Alex Otti of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) as winner of the April 11 and April 25 supplementary elections in the state.
Mr. Otti had gone to the tribunal asking it to annul the declaration of Mr. Ikpeazu as governor with the reason that the election was marred by irregularities and substantial non-compliance with the Electoral Act and to declare him rightful winner on account of the lawful votes cast during the election.