The Akwa Ibom State Elections Petitions Tribunal sitting in Uyo resumed hearing on Tuesday September 10, 2019 in a petition filed by Obong Nsima Ekere and All Progressives Congress (APC) Against Gov.Udom Emmanuel, Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) and Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC).
Lead counsel to the Obong Nsima Ekere and APC, J.S. Okutepa SAN, while adopting his written address, urged the tribunal to uphold the petitioners’ petition as points raised are based on merit.
He urged the tribunal to dismiss all the objections of all the respondents’ and described Akwa Ibom State INEC as Partial Independent National Electoral Commission (PINEC) for objecting to documents obtained from them by the order of court and paid for by the petitioners’.
He urged their Lordships to hold that all documents tendered by the Petitioners’ complied with the rules of admissibility and were duly admitted by the Tribunal. And that all documents tendered by the respondents’ should be rejected as those documents did not comply with the rules of admissibility as the documents were noty front loaded as required by law.
On INEC prayer for the dismissal of the petition by the tribunal, J.S. Okutepa SAN in his response belated INEC for their partiality and urged the Lordships of the tribunal to grant all the reliefs sought by the petitioners and to dismissed INEC and other respondents replies as all their replies are against laws relating to replies of petitions.
J.S. Okutepa SAN, further submitted that the tribunal should grant the Petitioners’ petition in the interest of justice, saying the Akwa Ibom State Governorship election held on March 9,2019 was not conducted according to Electoral act and called for nullification of the election for non-compliance with the relevant laws. He reminded the respondents’ to go and prepare for rerun of the Governorship election.
Counsel to Udom Emmanuel, Onyechi Ikpeazu SAN, on his part urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition for lacking in merit.
In his submissions, Counsel to PDP, Tayo Oyetibo SAN, described the Petitioners’ petition as “vague” and should be dismissed for lacking in merit.
INEC counsel, Barr.Sylva Ogwemoh SAN urged tribunal to dismiss the Petitioners’ petition because according to him,the petition is apparently irreconcilable.
Chairman of the 3 man tribunal, Justice Yakubu after listening to the submissions of all counsel, thanked all the counsel for the cooperation and promised that the tribunal will do justice to all parties.
Tribunal consequently adjourned to a date to be communicated to all Counsel for judgement.
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