supreme court judmentThe Supreme Court yesterday night declared Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State and his Akwa Ibom State colleague, Immanuel Udom as dully elected chief executives of their respective states.
In the judgements that dragged into the night, the apex court not only declared them winners, but voided the grounds on which their opponents at their respective state governorship polls based their arguments.
At the court premises last night, a detachment of security personnel stood guard even as top members of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA sat all through the court’s proceedings which lasted several hours.
There were reports of jubilation and backslapping across Abia and Akwa Ibom States following the Supreme Court’s judgement.
A seven-man panel of Justices of the apex court, in a unanimous judgement, vacated the decision of the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal which ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to conduct fresh election in the state.
The apex court, in a lead judgment that was delivered by Justice Cintus Nweze around 9:40pm yesterday, said there was merit in the appeal that was lodged before it by both governor Emmanuel and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
The court however reserved its reasons for setting aside the judgement of the appellate court till February 15.
According to Justice Nweze, ”I have invested considerable Judicial time considering arguments on this appeal. It is my view that there is considerable merit in the appellants complaint against the appellate court.
“I find that the orders by the appellate court must not be and are hereby set aside. In there place, I affirm INEC’s declaration of Udom Emmanuel as the governor of Akwa Ibom state, having won majority vote. Reasons for this judgment will be given on Monday, February 15”.
Nigerian Pilot recalled that the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal had on December 18, 2015, nullified the outcome of the April 11 governorship election in Akwa Ibom State.
The appellate court equally vacated the judgement of the Akwa Ibom State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal which had on October 21, ordered a re-run poll in 18 out of 31 Local Government Areas in the State.
In their unanimous judgment, a five-man panel of Justices of the appellate court said there was sufficient evidence that the election that produced Governor Udom Emmanuel of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, was not conducted in substantial compliance with provisions of the Electoral Act 2010, as amended.
The court held that the Justice Sadiq Umar-led tribunal, failed to properly evaluate both oral and documentary evidence that were presented before it by the All Progressives Congress, APC, and it governorship candidate in the state, Mr. Umana Okon Umana.

READ ALSO  FG sacks 24 Heads of Federal Agencies and Parastatals