Appeal Court dismisses AA, AP’s petitions against Akwa Ibom Gov

Governor Umo Eno of Akwa Ibom State

The Appeal Court in Lagos has dismissed two appeals against the election of Governor Umo Eno of Akwa Ibom State brought before it by the governorship candidates of the Action Alliance and Accord Party, respectively, Akpan Jeremiah and Emem Coffie.

The three-man panel on Friday upheld that Eno remains the validly elected governor of Akwa Ibom State.

The governorship candidate of the Accord Party, Emem Coffie, had approached the Appeal Court, seeking that the judgement of the tribunal be upturned in his favour.

Kofie, through his counsel, Chidi Nwachukwu, argued that he deserved to be declared the governor as other candidates in the election were not qualified to contest the election.

But, counsel to Governor Eno, Paul Usoro, counsels to INEC, Kolapo Kolade, and Mofesomo Oyetibo faulted the claims by the appellants that 800 polling units recorded infractions, saying no effort was made by the petitioners to identify the 800 units, nor was there any attempt to bring witnesses from any of the said polling units.

The respondents also told the court that the only witness the appellants brought was the governorship candidate, Emem Coffie, who admitted that he was only in his polling unit and, after voting on the said date, went to his house.

They insisted that the appellants acted on ‘hearsay’ which was the reason their petition was thrashed at the tribunal.

In the appeal filed by Akpan Abraham of the Action Alliance, he and his party claimed to have been unlawfully excluded by INEC.

However, in its judgement, the appellate court upheld the arguments of the respondents and dismissed the case as lacking in merit.