The move by the candidate of the Labour Party in the April 11 Governorship election, Senator Helen Esuene seeking to nullify the election of the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr Udom Emmanuel has hit the rock.
Delivering judgement, the Presiding judge of The Akwa Ibom State Governorship Election Tribunal holden at the High Court of Federal Capital Territory Complex, Maitama, Abuja, Hon. Justice A. S. Umar in his ruling struck out the petition of the Akwa Ibom State Labour Party candidate and held that the petition was incompetent. Mr. Paul Usoro (SAN), Counsel to the Akwa Ibom State Governor hailed the ruling and commended the Tribunal for the quick dispensation of Justice.
Mr. Usoro had challenged the competence the Labour Candidate petition on grounds that Exhibit A, the purported Certified True Copy of the Signature page of the Petition, attached to the Petitioners’ Counter Affidavit to the Motion is not a Certified True Copy having failed to satisfy the requirements of Section 104 and 105 of the Evidence Act.
The Lawyer also held that the Petition in the record of the Tribunal did not disclose the signatory thereof as none of the names of Counsel listed therein was ticked to indicate who signed the Petition.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria further reasoned that any attempt by the Tribunal to carry out an investigation in order to discover the signatory will amount to converting the Tribunal into a forensic Laboratory and concluded that the Petitioners have failed to comply with the provisions of paragraph 4(3) of the First Schedule of the Electoral Act.
Sufficiently convinced by the arguments put forward by Mr. Usoro, the Judges in a unanimous decision struck out the petition on grounds of incompetence.
In a chat with newsmen, Mr. Usoro allayed fears in some quarters over petitions pending at the Tribunal challenging Governor Emmanuel’s Electoral victory, expressing confidence that Mr. Udom Emmanuel will triumph in similar petitions brought against him by others who lost the April 11, 2015 Governorship election in Akwa Ibom State to reaffirm the will of the people who had freely voted for him.