BY: Chioma Onuegbu, Uyo
THERE is tension in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state as the National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Uyo, would on Wednesday deliver its judgement on the long awaited case between Senator Godswill Akpabio and Senator Christopher Ekpenyong for Ikot Ekpene Senatorial district seat.
This is one month since the final written addresses by parties involved in the petition were adopted by the tribunal’s panel.
The National Assembly Election Petitions had on August 8, 2019 after adoption of Written addresses by Petitioners and Respondents on August 8, 2019, adjourned to review the mountain of evidences tendered before it and to announce a date to deliver ruling on the case.
Senator Godswill Akpabio of the All Progressives Congress, APC is challenging the victory of Senator Christopher Ekpenyong of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP in the February, 23, 2019 senatorial election.
Ekpenyong of the PDP polled a total of 118, 215 votes while Senator Akpabio who was seeking second term into the senate seat scored a total of 83, 158 votes.
Dissatisfied with the outcome of the election, Senator Akpabio had approached the tribunal to reclaim his alleged stolen votes from the PDP candidates.
Ekpenyong had through his Counsel Kanu Agabi(SAN) urged the National Assembly Elections Petition Tribunal to dismiss the petition filed by Senator Godswill Akpabio on the basis of incompetence.
Agabi in his written address argued that out of ten local government areas that make up the Senatorial district, witnesses were called by the Petitioner from only two local government areas.
Counsel to the Petitioners, Sunday I. Ameh (SAN) had opposed argument of the Respondent saying he completely misunderstood the case of the Petitioners.
Ameh had explained that the Petitioners case are on the grounds that Senator Ekpenyong was not validly elected and that his return was not in compliance with the electoral act.