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Akpabio goes to tribunal

Joe Effiong, Uyo

Former Senate minority leader, Sen Godswill Akpabio has dragged his opponent and senator-elect for Ikot Ekpene senatorial district, Dr Chris Ekpenyong, to the election tribunal with a view to defending alleged mandate.

Ekpenyong, who received the summons from the tribunal’s secretary on Tuesday at his EEMJM Hotel office, Uyo, said he was not surprised at Akpabio’s antics since “he (Akpabio) was only embarking on a futile journey to change the course already designed by God.”

He told his supporters to “remain calm as your mandate has been rescued by the divine arrangement for peace, development and even spread of the dividends of democracy.

“You should not be afraid of Akpabio; your mandate is secured in me. The God that allowed your votes to be counted will stand by us to get justice at the tribunal and in various courts. We are ready to defend the will of the people of Ikot Ekpene at all times,” he stressed.

Senator Godswill Akpabio, currently representing Ikot Ekpene senatorial district (Akwa Ibom North-West) at the Senate, filed his petition through his counsel, Mr Sunday Ameh (SAN) at the state elections petition tribunal on March 16, 2019

Ameh, penultimate week, withdrew the earlier suit filed at Apo District of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja High Court, seeking the invocation of an order of mandamus, ordering INEC to review the results of the poll in his senatorial district due to improper process.

The National Assembly election petition tribunal sitting in Uyo, is yet to fix a date for the commencement of hearing matters before it.

Akpabio, who is the immediate-past governor of Akwa Ibom State, is seeking to upturn the outcome of the February 23 National Assembly poll. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), had declared former Ekpenyong, a former deputy governor of the state, winner.

In announcing the winner, the Returning Officer (RO), Prof Peter Ojban said Ekpenyong polled a total of 118, 215, while Senator Godswill Akpabio of APC got 83, 158 votes.

But Akpabio faulted the results, claiming that “incontrovertible result sheets from INEC office showed different figures that I secured 138, 256 votes over Ekpenyong’s 123,843.”

He alleged that the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), who superintended over the exercise colluded with the PDP to pre-determine the outcome in favour of Ekpenyong.

However, the former deputy governor, who last Thursday obtained his Certificate of Return (CoR) from INEC in Abuja, maintained that he won the poll through a free, fair and credible process and urged Akpabio to accept defeat in good faith.

His counsels, he said, would be at the tribunal to disproof all the allegations.

Working with other federal lawmakers, Ekpenyong said his immediate task would be “to ensure Nigeria works again by aligning with the executive and other arms of government to address challenges of fixing the country.”

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Posted by on Mar 19 2019. Filed under Headlines. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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