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Tribunals affirm Akwa Ibom senator’s victory, order rerun in Bayelsa

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The National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, has upheld the victory of Senator Aniekan Bassey of the Peoples Democratic Party in the February 25 National Assembly election.

Bassey, who is representing Uyo East Senatorial District in the red chamber, was declared the winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission, having polled 98,634 votes to defeat Dr. Emaeyak Ukpong of the All Progressives Congress, who scored 43,298 votes.

Ukpong, through his counsel, Jumbo Udom, asked the tribunal to declare null and void Bassey’s victory over alleged non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022, and declare him the winner of the election.

But delivering judgment on Friday, the Justice B. A. Taiwo-led tribunal held that the petitioner failed to prove any of his allegations of over-voting, widespread irregularities, or non-compliance with provisions of the Electoral Act.

The tribunal therefore dismissed the petition for lack of merit and substance and accordingly affirmed Bassey as the winner of the election.

Bassey, who described the ruling as a victory for the rule of law, called on his opponent to join hands with him for the betterment of the district.

Meanwhile, the National Assembly and State House of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal in Bayelsa State has set aside the election of the member representing Sagbama-Ekeremor Federal Constituency, Fred Agbedi.

The tribunal stated this in a judgment delivered on Thursday, in Yenagoa, by Justice Sylvester Odili on the petition marked EPT/BY/HR/01/2023, filed by the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Michael Olomu.

The Independent National Electoral Commission had declared Agbedi of the Peoples Democratic Party as the winner of the election, as he polled 21,430 votes while Olomu scored 8,899 votes.

The panel also set aside the certificate of return issued to the PDP candidate.

It directed INEC to conduct a supplementary election within 90 days in some polling units and wards in the Sagbama and Ekeremor Local Government Areas where the exercise was marred by violence and other irregularities.

Agbedi, however, told journalists after the judgment, “That was justice served, and I’m ready for the supplementary election. No appeal; that’s my personal decision.”

Also, Olomu said, “I will consult the party and my lawyers, and a decision will be taken immediately.”

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