A seven-man bench presided over by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, unanimously allowed the nine appeals filed by parties in the two cases. The court will give its reasons for the judgment in the Akwa-Ibom State on February 15. It will do the same on February 26 in the Abia case. The court began the delivery of the judgments at 9:30pm. They were rounded off at 10:05pm. Justice Centus Chima Nweze wrote and delivered the lead judgments in the six appeals that were filed against the Court of Appeal judgment, which nullified the election. He allowed all the appeals. He said the Court of Appeal misdirected itself in nullifying the entire Akwa Ibom election, even when the tribunal earlier nullified election in 18 of the 31 Local Government Areas. Justice Nweze held that “there is considerable merit in the complaints of the appellant against the judgment of the lower court. “I find merit in the appeal and the judgment of the lower court is hereby set aside. The return of the appellant by the fourth respondent (INEC) is upheld. The judgment of the lower court is set aside. Parties are to bear their costs,” Justice Nweze said. Justice Suleiman Galadima upheld the three appeals filed by Ikpeazu, INEC, PDP in the Abia State case. He said the appeals had merit and allowed them. He set aside the judgment of the Court of Appeal, which earlier declared the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Alex Otti as winner. Justice Galadima upheld the return of Ikpeazu by INEC and declined to make any order as to cost. Other members of the seven-man panel include Justices Tanko Ibrahim, Bode Rhodes-Vivour, Kumai Akaahs and Kudirat Kekere-Ekun. The proceedings attracted notable personalities including Senator Godswill Akpabio and Senator Ita Enang, the Senior Special Assistant to President Mohammadu Buhari on Senate Affairs. The court room was filled beyond capacity, while many listened to proceedings from the speakers placed outside the court room. After the judgment, an elated Akpabio thanked supporters who ?were in court in large number. He entered his Sport Utility Vehicle, raised his head from an opening in the vehicle’s roof and waived to the ecstatic supporters as he departed the court’s premises in a convoy of cars. In a statement, Governor Emmanuel said the judgment is evidence that “the institution of the judiciary is alive and well, and is keeping watch over the evolution and the deepening of the democratic culture and traditions of our nascent democracy.” He thanked the people for “their prayers and steadfast support over the past seven months in the face of what was absolutely the most vile, vitriolic campaign of hatred, blackmail and character assassination ever mounted by an opposition.]]>