The Akwa Ibom State Governorship Election Tribunal has adjourned sine ne die after hearing the final submissions from Governor Udom Emmanuel of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the All Progressives Congress, APC, candidate, Umana Umana.
At the sitting, counsel to the petitioner, Wole Olanikpekun SAN, told the tribunal that the alleged election was alien to mankind and insisted that the election was not conducted in accordance with the Electoral Act.
He said in the course of trial, he tendered 360 documentary evidences and called 52 witnesses stressing that while paragraphs 8, 9, 11, 12 and 14 dealt with accreditation, 16 and 17 dealt with collation while 24- 29 dealt with result.
Adopting his address, Olanikpekun, prayed the tribunal to allow the petition and grant all reliefs sought therein and insisted that accreditation is compulsory in an election; be it through the use of Card Reader or Option A4.
In his address, Paul Usoro, SAN, counsel to Gov Emmanuel, prayed the tribunal to dismiss the petition. He based his plea on the ground that what the petitioners anchored their argument for nullification of the election on, bothers on a presumption of irregularity with regards to the election results.
He opined that election result is a pyramid with the polling unit results (Form EC8A ) being the base but that the petitioners failed to dispute the polling unit accreditation with the polling unit results.
Usoro said rebuttal of the presumption of irregularity by law must be done polling unit by polling unit and ward by ward with the polling unit results constituting the base. ” The onus of rebuttal is on the petitioner and it has to do it polling unit by polling unit.
In this case, has there been a rebuttal to the presumption of irregularity with regards to the results polling unit by polling unit? Did they plead the fact to enable them rebut the results polling unit by polling unit? Did they tender evidence rebutting the presumption polling unit by polling unit? The petitioners called 52 witnesses. Only 6 were voters, 3 were polling agents. My Lords, the petitioners have not come close to rebutting presumption “, he submitted.