Tribunal Quashes APC’s Petition Against Akwa Ibom Gov Eno


The Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State has dismissed a petition brought by the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, Akanimo Udofia, challenging the election of Pastor Umo Eno of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner of the March 18 poll.

Udofia sought the disqualification of Pastor Eno’s election on the grounds that he presented forged documents to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and also did not score the highest number of valid votes in the March 18, 2023 Governorship elections.

Udofia also accused the 2nd respondent of being convicted by an Abuja Magistrate Court, hence not qualified to be fielded for elections.

But in favour of Governor Umo Eno (the 2nd Respondent), the tribunal in its unanimous decision, ruled that the allegations of substantial non-compliance with the electoral law in the conduct of the elections were not sufficiently proven by the petitioners in their case.

The Justice Adekunle Adeleye-led panel also ruled that the magistrate court, in its judgment, nullified its earlier conviction of Pastor Eno and that once a judgement is nullified, it ceases to exist.

On the issue of the qualification of the 2nd Respondent, the tribunal maintained that the Supreme Court had already determined that Pastor Eno was the authentic owner of the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) certificates he submitted to INEC.

The lead judgement read by Justice Kadi Usman Sikudu also held that the petitioners having alleged that Pastor Eno was not the owner of the certificate he submitted to the 1st Respondent, INEC, did not produce any other person, as the authentic owner of the said 1981 WAEC certificate.

The tribunal also expunged the evidence tendered by the petitioner’s subpoenaed witness, an acclaimed Interpol officer, who came to tender a report on the 2nd respondent’s WAEC results.

On the petitioner’s allegation that the PDP made use of public office holders, such as one Uwem Ekanem as a collation agent in Ikot Abasi local government area, the tribunal ruled that Uwem Ekanem’s membership of the board of Ibom Power Company, cannot be classified as political office and that a party agent’s membership of a company’s board was not sufficient reasons for a candidate to be disqualified.

The Tribunal ruled that Akanimo Udofia’s petition lacked merit as he was not able to establish one polling unit in which there was non-compliance with the electoral law in the March 18 Governorship elections.


Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria

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