The Akwa Ibom State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in a ruling that lasted over 7hours on Wednesday declared the April 11 governorship election in 18 local governments of the 31 local governments of the state as failing in meeting the minimum standard of elections, therefore ordered for a re-run.
The tribunal ruled that the election in the affected local government areas were marred by violence and other infractions.
Justice Sadiq Umar in the ruling ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to conduct fresh elections within 90 days.
Despite the fresh election in the 18 local governments, the tribunal was silent on the prayer of the APC petitioner, Mr. Umana Okon Umana, seeking the invalidation of the election of Governor Emmanuel Udom, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Landmark ruling of the judgment was the dismissal of INEC’s statement mandating the use of card readers for the election saying it violated section 49 of the Electoral Act.
Also, the tribunal dismissed the forensic report tendered by the petitioner on the ground that the persons that generated the report are not forensic professionals.
“The card reader report is not a conclusive report to ascertain the actual number of accredited voters. That press release concerning the card reader report is null and void as it offended the provisions of section 49 of the Electoral Act, which deals with the process of accreditation in an election,” Justice Umar said in the ruling.