The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom State has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to probe the Supreme Court judgment on the State’s governorship election. After the court of appeal had nullified the election of Governor Emmanuel Udom of Akwa Ibom State in 2015, the Supreme Court on February 3, 2016, declared that Governor Emmanuel Udom of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was validly elected as the governor of Akwa Ibom State.
The APC in Akwa Ibom State described the judgment as “weird, arbitrary and an inexplicable endorsement of violence and electoral fraud that was procured by the use of state power and resources for evil ends.” They are asking President Muhammadu Buhari to question the Supreme Court on how they came to declare Goveror Udom Emmanuel the winner of the April 11, 2015.
In a statement released on Saturday 6th February 2015, by the State chairman of the party, Amadu Attai, the APC called on President Muhammadu Buhari to probe the hearing of the Akwa Ibom State Governorship Election Appeal and the judgment by the Supreme Court.
“We believe such inquiry is inevitable to address the possible consequences of the Supreme Court judgment which is bound to encourage resort to self help, violence and all forms of illegality and barbarity in the quest for power,” Amadu said.
Besides the violence that took place in Akwa Ibom State during the governorship election, the APC said it had proved to the tribunal that there was no election in the state, even though Mr. Udom claimed there was and he participated.
“Nothing highlights the fraudulent nature of the Akwa Ibom governorship election and nothing better establishes the perversity of the Supreme Court judgment than the fact that Udom Emmanuel who was declared winner of the election had no explanation as to how 437, 128 accredited voters by Card Readers or 448, 307 accredited voters by Voter’s Register could validly produce 1, 122, 836 votes purportedly cast in the election, 996,071 of which were declared for Udom Emmanuel.
“These were findings from certified true copies of INEC documents, which were upheld by the Court of Appeal. The case of over-voting and other irregularities were painstakingly established in 27 local government areas out of 31, with 2,982 polling units.
“In his pleadings, Udom Emmanuel had said he would tender incident forms to account for the differentials. They were never tendered, even though the incident forms were taken to Abuja from Uyo, because they were filled several weeks after the election and therefore could not be signed by the designated INEC staff.
“The case of the signing of result sheets in many wards by one person was also well established. In Mkpat Enin Local Government Area for instance, one Barr. Jerry Akpan signed the result sheets in all the 14 wards of the local government area.
“As rightly held by the Court of Appeal, Jerry Akpan couldn’t have been at all the wards simultaneously to sign these documents, a clear evidence that there was no collation at the wards, as we had also presented unchallenged evidence that there was no collation at the state level,” Mr. Attai said in the statement.
The party raised an issue over former Akwa Ibom governor, Godswill Akpabio’s alleged conduct inside the Supreme Court on the day of the judgment. It said Mr. Akpabio’s action and utterances inside the court room is questionable to the integrity of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
“As soon as the Justices of the Supreme Court retired to their chamber to consider their judgment, the Senate minority leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio, arrived obviously on cue by 8pm with a large contingent of praise singers, and proceeded to address PDP supporters within the court premises, telling them that it was all over.
“With the shout of his supporters renting the air, Akpabio caused quite a stir as he swept into the courtroom, breaking all protocols in a frenzy of banters with PDP and Udom Emmanuel’s lawyers whom he equally assured, that It is all over,” Mr. Attai continued.
The Akwa Ibom election tribunal, which first looked into the disputed poll had nullified the election of Mr. Emmanuel in 18 out the 31 local government areas in the state. The case was later brought before the Court of Appeal, Abuja, which went further to nullify the whole governorship election in the state by December 2015.
Both PDP and APC in Akwa Ibom state were preparing for a fresh election before the Supreme Court set aside the judgments of the lower court and the Court of Appeal, and concluded the case in favour of Governor Udom Emmanuel. The APC governorship candidate in Akwa Ibom state, Umana Umana, had earlier said that the Supreme Court judgment “calls for very serious soul-searching by our nation.” Umana Umana and his party will not give up on the chase until some serious underground findings have been made.