Governorship Tribunal Dismisses APC’ Petition and Upholds Eno’s Victory in Akwa Ibom. The Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in Uyo delivered a significant verdict today, Thursday, dismissing the petition filed by Mr. Akanimo Udofia, the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate, challenging the victory of Pastor Umo Eno of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the March 18, 2023, elections.
Udofia had sought to disqualify Pastor Umo Eno, alleging forged documents presented to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and a lack of the highest number of valid votes. Additionally, he accused Eno of a conviction by an Abuja Magistrate Court, which, he argued, disqualified him from the elections.
However, in a unanimous decision led by Justice Adekunle Adeleye, the tribunal ruled that the allegations of substantial noncompliance with electoral law were not sufficiently proven. The tribunal also stated that the magistrate court had nullified its earlier conviction of Pastor Umo Eno, rendering it void.
Regarding Eno’s qualifications, the tribunal cited a Supreme Court decision confirming the authenticity of his WAEC certificates submitted to INEC.
Furthermore, the tribunal dismissed claims that the PDP used public office holders, including Uwem Ekanem, as collation agents, stating that such memberships did not constitute political office and were not grounds for disqualification.
The tribunal found that Udofia’s petition lacked merit as it failed to establish noncompliance with electoral law in any polling unit during the March 18 Governorship elections.
The tribunal also dismissed Udofia’s challenge to the eligibility of Senator Bassey Albert, who came second in the election, citing a subsisting appeal by the convicted YPP candidate as making him eligible to contest.
In addition, the tribunal ruled that Udofia, not being a member of the YPP, had no basis to challenge the party’s choice of candidate.
Finally, the petitions by governorship candidates of the NNPP, Senator John James Akpan Udoedehe, and ANC, Ezekiel Nyaetok, were also dismissed for lacking in merit.
Governorship Tribunal Dismisses APC’s