The All Progressives Congress, APC, and its governorship candidate in Akwa Ibom State, Umana Okon Umana, on Friday filed applications at the Court of Appeal in Abuja challenging the verdict of the state Governorship Election Petition Tribunal.
The tribunal, in its judgment delivered by Justice Sadiq Umar on October 21, nullified elections in 18 out of the 31 local government areas of the state and ordered a re-run to be conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
However, APC and Umana in their notice of appeal, said the tribunal’s judgment was a “miscarriage of justice and turning upside down, the head of the natural justice.”
They have asked the appellate court to set aside the judgment of the tribunal in relation to the validation of election results in 13 local government areas of the state.
“By nullifying elections in 18 out of 31 local government areas, Section 179(2)(b) of the Nigerian Constitution, which required that a candidate vying for the office of the Governor would be declared winner if he has not less than one quarter of the votes cast at the election in each of at least two-thirds of the local government areas, has been breached,” applicant argued.
The two appellants claimed that the tribunal erred in not nullifying the election of governor Emmauel Udom in its entirety since he did not meet the mandatory number needed to retain his seat.
They further asked the appeal court to nullify the entire governorship election conducted in the state on April 11, due to non-compliance with the Election Act of 2010 and voter guidelines of INEC and also remove Udom from office while ordering a fresh election to be conducted throughout the state.