Akpabio wants tribunal to declare him winner of senatorial election

Godswill Akpabio
Godswill Akpabio

Godswill Akpabio, a senator from Akwa Ibom State, has filed a petition at the election tribunal against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Chris Ekpenyong, his opponent and the winner of the just concluded election for Akwa Ibom North-West District.

Mr Akpabio, who is alleging irregularities in the election, wants the tribunal to declare him the winner of the election.

The case was filed on March 16, Mr Akpabio’s media office said.

His legal team is led by S. Ameh, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN).

Mr Akpabio, before now, had filed a case at a high court in Abuja and obtained an order restraining INEC from issuing a certificate of return to his opponent, Mr Ekpenyong.

But the case at the Abuja court was seen by many as abnormal since it is conventional in Nigeria’s political process for aggrieved candidates to seek redress at election tribunal.

The tribunals, though inaugurated, did not start sitting at the time.

The senator later withdrew the case from the court, so he could head to the tribunal.

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According to the result announced by INEC, Mr Akpabio, a former governor of the state, scored 83,158 votes, while Mr Ekpenyong scored 118,215 votes.

Mr Akpabio’s failure to win re-election to the Senate for a second term is one of the most shocking events in the political history of the 31 years old state; he was rated by many as the most influential politician in Akwa Ibom.

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