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APC, PDP fight over tribunals’ judgement in Akwa Ibom

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) on Thursday condemned the rulings so far delivered by the Akwa Ibom State National and State Assembly Election Petition tribunals in which the victories of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were upheld by the two panels.

National Assembly candidates of the PDP whose victories were upheld by the tribunals’ chairmen, Justices W. O Akanbi at the Metro road court, Uyo and Mrs. Jenifer Ijohor of the Fulga road court, Uyo, were Senator Bassey Albert Akpan (Akwa Ibom Northeast), who defeated Mr. Bassey Etim of the APC and Dr. Chris Ekpenyong (Akwa Ibom North-West), who triumphed over Senator Godswill Akpabio.

The panels also affirmed the victories of some House of Representatives members including Chief Nse Ekpenyong, who beat Mr. Victor Antai of the APC for the Oron Federal Constituency seat; Mr. Unyime Idem (Ukanafun\Oruk Anam); Mr. Pat Ifon (Eket\Esit Eket\Ibeno\Onna) and Mr. Aniekan Umanah (Abak\Etim Ekpo\Ika).

But the APC kicked against all the verdicts, arguing that the panels compromised and ignored some basic facts that would have given credibility to the rulings and called on President Muhammadu Buhari, the national leadership of the APC and other stakeholders to come to the aid of the APC in its quest to get justice.

Addressing newsmen yesterday in Uyo, the state capital, the leader of the youths’ wing of APC, Comrade Stephen Ntukekpo, announced the rejection of the outcome of their petitions.

He said: “President Muhammadu Buhari, the national Chairman of the APC and other stakeholders of the party should not sit back and watch this injustice done yet again to the APC family in Akwa Ibom”.

In his reaction, the state PDP Publicity Secretary, Comrade Iniobong Ememobong, who also addressed newsmen at the state PDP secretariat, Edet Akpan Avenue, Uyo, urged the public to disregard the alarm, saying it was borne out of blackmail.

According to the PDP, the Justices who delivered the ruling carefully followed the due process of law to arrive at the verdicts, noting that all the petitions were fraught with irregularities which made them incompetent to stand in the eyes of the law.

“How else can you describe people (APC) who protested the location of the tribunals before they were even constituted? Since then, they have been shouting to high Heaven over non-existent issues.

“When the tribunals started, they filed processes that were manifestly and incurable defective. Now that the natural consequences of their actions have manifested, instead of taking a sincere introspection, they have decided to apply their stock-in-trade, passing buck,” he stated.

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