The Akwa Ibom State chapter of All Progressives Congress, APC, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to probe the Supreme Court judgment on the state’s governorship election.
The Supreme Court in its judgment on February 3 declared that Udom Emmanuel of the Peoples Democratic Party was validly elected as the governor of Akwa Ibom in the April 11, 2015 governorship election in the state.
The ruling came as a surprise to the party, which described it as “weird, arbitrary and an inexplicable endorsement of violence and electoral fraud that was procured by the use of state power and resources for evil ends”.
Recall that the Akwa Ibom election tribunal had nullified the election of Mr. Emmanuel in 18 out the 31 local government areas in the state. The case was later brought before the Court of Appeal, Abuja, which went further to nullify the entire election.
Dissatisfied with the ruling, the governor filed an appeal at the apex court, which last week set aside the judgments of the lower court and the Court of Appeal, and decided the case in favour of Mr. Emmanuel.
While Gov. Emmanuel hailed the judgment as victory for the people and called on the APC to join hands with him in moving the state forward, the opposition party’s flag bearer, Umana Umana, said that the Supreme Court judgment “calls for very serious soul-searching by our nation”.
In its first official reaction to the ruling, the Akwa Ibom APC, in a statement, Saturday, by its chairman, Amadu Attai, called on “President Muhammadu Buhari to probe the hearing of the Akwa Ibom State Governorship Election Appeal and the judgment by the Supreme Court”.
“We believe such enquiry is inevitable to address the possible consequences of the Supreme Court judgment which is bound to encourage resort to self-help, violence and all forms of illegality and barbarity in the quest for power”.
Besides the violence it said took place across the state during the Akwa Ibom governorship election, the APC said it had tendered enough evidence before the tribunal to prove that there was no election in the state.
“Nothing highlights the fraudulent nature of the Akwa Ibom governorship election and nothing better establishes the perversity of the Supreme Court judgment than the fact that Udom Emmanuel who was declared winner of the election had no explanation as to how 437, 128 accredited voters by Card Readers or 448, 307 accredited voters by Voter’s Register could validly produce 1, 122, 836 votes purportedly cast in the election, 996,071 of which were declared for Udom Emmanuel,” the state chairman of the party, Mr. Attai, said in the statement.
“These were findings from certified true copies of INEC documents, which were upheld by the Court of Appeal.
“The case of over-voting and other irregularities were painstakingly established in 27 local government areas out of 31, with 2,982 polling units.
“In his pleadings, Udom Emmanuel had said he would tender incident forms to account for the differentials. They were never tendered, even though the incident forms were taken to Abuja from Uyo, because they were filled several weeks after the election and therefore could not be signed by the designated INEC staff”.
Mr. Attai continued, “The case of the signing of result sheets in many wards by one person was also well established. In Mkpat Enin Local Government Area for instance, one Barr Jerry Akpan signed the result sheets in all the 14 wards of the local government area.
“As rightly held by the Court of Appeal, Jerry Akpan couldn’t have been at all the wards simultaneously to sign these documents, a clear evidence that there was no collation at the wards, as we had also presented unchallenged evidence that there was no collation at the state level”.
The state APC chair raised an issue over ex-governor of the state, now Senate minority leader, Godwill Akpabio’s alleged conduct inside the Supreme Court on the day of the judgment.
He said Mr. Akpabio’s action and utterances inside the court room called to question, the integrity of the Supreme Court.
“As soon as the Justices of the Supreme Court retired to their chamber to consider their judgment, the Senate minority leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio, arrived obviously on cue by 8 p.m. with a large contingent of praise singers, and proceeded to address PDP supporters within the court premises, telling them that it was all over”, Mr. Attai said in the statement.
“With the shout of his supporters renting the air, Akpabio caused quite a stir as he swept into the courtroom, breaking all protocols in a frenzy of banters with PDP and Udom Emmanuel’s lawyers whom he equally assured, ‘It is all over’”.