The Akwa Ibom Governorship Election Tribunal sitting in Abuja on Wednesday ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to conduct fresh electionsa in 18 of the 31 local governments in the state.
The All Progressives Congress, APC, candidate in the April 11 governorship election, Umanah Umanah, had challenged the victory of Emmanuel Udom of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
In its ruling, the Justice Sadiq Umar-led tribunal said it was not convinced that elections held in all 31 local government areas as claimed by the PDP and its candidate, adding that some local governments did not comply with the provision of the law.
It also ruled that voters were disenfranchised in some polling units while elections in Uyo and Ibesikpo Asutan local government areas were inconclusive.
The tribunal, however, ruled that the petitioners were unable to prove beyond reasonable doubt that card reader alone could be relied upon for the accreditation of voters and ruled that Udom scored the highest number of valid votes cast.
It also dismissed the testimony of the witnesses called by the petitioners as experts because they denied being so, which is against the provision of the Evidence Act that only expert opinions are admissible.