The Senator representing Ikot Ekpene senatorial district in Akwa Ibom State, Senator Christopher Ekpenyong has again defeated Godswill Akpabio as the tribunal rules.
Election Tribunal for National/State House of Assembly seated in Uyo, ruled in favour of Senator Ekpenyong, on Wednesday.
Ekpenyong was declared winner by Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC in the February 23 elections.
And, his victory was challenged by senator Godswill Akpabio, now minister for Niger Delta Affairs.
Akpabio, challenged the elections of Ekpenyong on the grounds that he was not duly elected by majority of lawful votes cast at the February 23, 2019 election.
He cited in his petition non-complance with the provisions of the Electoral Act in the conduct of the elections.
His prayers was for the court to declare him (Akpabio) of the elections having polled the highest number of valid votes at the elections.
However, the chairman of the tribunal, Justice W. Akanbi, dismissed all the preliminary objections by the Respondents and resolved to settle the case on the merits.
The court ruled that Akpabio’s evidence was too weak to prove non-compliance of the electoral processes and resist to nullified or ruled in his favour;
The ruling also stated that the petitioner could not bring any witness from the polling units and thus could not prove substantial non-compliance with the Electoral Act.
The court in the end, by a majority Judgement of two justices dismissed the petition and upheld as valid the declaration of Senator Christopher Ekpenyong as the winner of the February 23, 2019 elections.
However, there was a dissenting voice by one out of the three judges of the Tribunal to this end Senator Ekpenyong defeats Akpabio in tribunal.
Meanwhile, the minisiter of Niger Delta, Godswill Akpabio is yet to speak on the defeats, but the lawyers representing Ekpenyong has hailed the tribunal declaration.