Dissatisfied with the ruling of the Akwa Ibom state Elections Petition Tribunal, which nullified polls in 18 out of 31 local governments in the state, the state chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, said it would appeal against the judgment. APC Akwa Ibom Chairman, Amadu Atai, said the party was expecting outright cancellation of the governorship election, particularly because of the huge cancellation of polls in the affected local government.
“The tribunal has cancelled the governorship elections in 18 local government areas and ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission to conduct elections in the affected areas.
“But we are going to file an appeal because we expected cancellation in more local government areas where discrepancies were pervasive”, he said. On his part, Paul Ekpo, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chairman in the state said that the judgement was confusing, but appreciative the governor, Udom Emmanuel, was not removed. Ekpo said the PDP would review the judgement. The tribunal, headed by Justice Sadiq Umar, in reaching his judgement said irregularities in some parts of the state, as the APC complained of, could not justify an outright cancellation of the poll. He also rejected the PDP's claim that the APC governorship candidate was not validly nominated by his party, saying it was a pre-election matter it had no jurisdiction to adjudicate upon. The affected local government included Eket, Uyo, Onna, Nsit-Ibom, Nsit-Ubium, Ibimo, Ibeksibo, Nsit-Atai, Etinam and Oron.