Tribunal dismisses ANPP’s petitions against Akwa Ibom gov, upholds Eno’s election

The Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, has dismissed the petitions filed by the governorship candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party in the state, Senator John Udoedehe, challenging the declaration of Umo Éno of the Peoples Democratic Party, as the state governor by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

Udoedehe had in his arguments, claimed that Eno was declared a convict by the Wuse Magistrate Court, Abuja, thereby robbing him of the qualification to have contested the March 18, 2023 governorship election.

He prayed the Tribunal to order that the election be cancelled and a fresh one conducted within 90 days.

He also alleged that the governor was born in Enugu State, even though he declined to show proof of this claim as he neither front-loaded nor relied upon any document to back it.

But delivering judgment on Wednesday in suit number EPW/AKS/GOV/03/23, the panel presided over by Justice Adekunle Adeleye, in a unanimous decision, dismissed the petition for lacking in merit.

Reacting to the judgment, counsel to the PDP, Barr. Emmanuel Enoidem told journalists that the judgment was in strong agreement with the position of the law.

Enoidem, a former commissioner said the petitioners failed to prove that Eno did not meet the constitutional entry requirements for office of the governor, adding that most of their claims were pre-election matters which they could not also substantiate.

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