The Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal for Akwa Ibom, has ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to open its defence in the petition challenging the election of Gov. Emmanuel Udom. The APC governorship candidate, Mr Umana Okon Umana, had dragged Udom of the PDP to the tribunal challenging his declaration as winner of the April 11 governorship election.
Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Sadiq Umar, gave the directive at Monday’s resumed hearing as Gov. Udom and PDP closed their case.
Counsel to PDP Mr Taiyo Oyetibo, told newsmen that the party was satisfied with the quality of witnesses.
Oyetibo said that the merit of a suit depend on the quality of witnesses the parties presented.
“ Actually, it is not the number of witnesses you called, but the quality of the evidence.
“ And having assessed the quality of the evidence we have laid so far, we are satisfied that we are on a solid ground to close our case,” he said.
Also speaking counsel to the Gov. Udom, Mr Effiong Effiong, expressed happiness with the way and manner their witnesses testified before the tribunal.
Effiong said all the witnesses testified that election actually took place in Akwa-Ibom.
On his part, counsel to the petitioner, Mr Dayo Akinlaja, said, the first and second respondents called 23 witnesses.
“It is too early for one to say one way or the other, but the important thing is that we are well convenient and comfortable with the way and manner the proceedings are going,’’ he said.
The tribunal adjourned sitting till Sept. 15 for continuation of hearing (NAN).