Tribunal Dismisses PDP’s Petition Against APC’s Senator Eteng Jonah Williams
Calabar-In a significant legal development, the Election Petition Tribunal in Calabar has dismissed the petition filed by Rt. Hon. Bassey Ewa of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) against the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) declaration of Senator Eteng Jonah Williams, a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as the winner of the February 25th Cross River Central Senatorial Election.
Justice Adeniyi, delivering a unanimous judgment on Friday, cited a lack of jurisdiction stemming from noncompliance with Paragraph 18 of the Electoral Act as the basis for dismissing the substantive petition. The tribunal, however, granted the prayers of all the Respondent’s applications, leading to the striking out of certain offensive paragraphs in the Petitioner’s Reply.
On the merits of the petition, Justice Adeniyi meticulously reviewed all oral and documentary evidence presented by the parties, as well as the results from polling units. A significant development was the voiding of 46 polling units due to incidents of over-voting and manipulation of results.
Even after subtracting the votes from the voided polling units from both the Petitioner’s and Respondent’s total votes, Senator Williams maintained a lead with a total of 1988 votes.
In its final verdict, the Tribunal ruled that the Petitioners failed to prove their case on the balance of probability. Consequently, the petition was dismissed in favor of the Respondents.
Senator Williams, in response to the judgment, commended the tribunal for upholding the rule of law over emotions and sentiment. This decision marks a significant milestone in the ongoing legal battles surrounding the Cross River Central Senatorial Election.
Stay tuned to VOTP NEWS for further updates on this developing story.