SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS AKWA IBOM, ABIA GOVERNORS’ ELECTION
The Supreme Court has affirmed the election of Udom Emmanuel, as the Governor of Akwa Ibom and that of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu.
In judgments that lasted less than 30 minutes, the court said Governor Emmanuel and his Abia counterpart, Ikpeazu, having won the lawfully cast votes, are duly elected as governors of their states.
The Supreme Court by the judgment, set aside the judgments of the two lower courts, saying that its reasons for the verdicts would be given on February 15 and 26.
Party supporters, who came to witness the decisions in the appeals filed by the Governors and the governorship candidate of the All Progressive Congress in Taraba State, waited with anxiety as counsels to their candidates battled it out inside the court. Presenting their evidences, they tried to persuade the court to either uphold their appeals or cross appeals.
The Supreme Court, however, reached verdicts only in the appeals and cross appeals filed in the petition challenging the elections of Governors Emmanuel and Ikpeazu.
Hearing in the various appeals lasted over 12 hours, with intermittent breaks.
After hearing all the appeals the panel of justices led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria retired to their chambers, returning with a verdict after about an hour.
In less than 15 minutes they upheld the appeals filed by Governor Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State and Governor Ikpeazu of Abia State, declaring them duly elected.
The panel of justices also upheld the appeals filed by the Independent National Electoral Commission in Akwa Ibom State, asking for reversal of the lower court’s cancellation of elections in all 31 local government areas in Akwa Ibom State.
All the parties in the suits praised the apex court for doing justice to the case and improving on the country’s jurisprudence.