The National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state has dismissed the petition filed by Godswill Akpabio of the All Progressives Congress (APC) challenging the declaration of Senator Christopher Ekpenyong of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the winner of the February 23 Akwa Ibom North West senatorial election.
The three-man panel led by Justice W.O Akanbi in a majority judgement upheld the election of Ekpenyong on the account that the petition failed to bring any witness from the polling units and could not prove substantial non-compliance with the Electoral Act. One of the judges however ruled against Ekpenyong’s victory.
Godswill Akpabio now the Minister of Niger Delta, had challenged the elections on the ground that Senator Christopher Ekpenyong was not duly elected by majority of lawful votes cast at the February 23, 2019 elections for Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District.
Akpabio also alleged that the election that produced Senator Ekpeyong as winner was invalid owing to non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act in the conduct of the elections.
The tribunal dismissed the motion filed by Akpabio that the result of the elections be nullified as it was not held in compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act and a re-run ordered, as well as an order declaring the first Petitioner, Godswill Akpabio as the winner of the elections having polled the highest number of valid, lawful votes at the elections.