The Appeal Court, sitting in Calabar, Cross Rivers State has ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a rerun election in Essien Udim Local Government area of Akwa Ibom State within 90 days.
The court ruled today, in the appeal filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Senator Godswill Akpabio against the election of Dr Chris Ekpeyong of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Akpabio secured 67, 487 as against 136, 373 votes for Chris Ekpenyong.
Akpabio had approached the tribunal, challenging the election on the basis of INEC cancellation of votes from Essien Udim Local Government, urging the tribunal to declare him winner.
However, the tribunal dismissed Akpabio’s petition in a majority judgment of two out of the three judges while one, Justice Sheriff Hafizu Tahir,gave minority judgment in favour of Akpabio.
Not satisfied with the judgment earlier ruled against him by the Justice Akanbi-led Elections Petition Tribunal sitting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Akpabio filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal, Calabar.
As a result of the ruling, INEC has been ordered to withdraw the Certificate of Return issued to Dr. Chris Ekpenyong and conduct fresh elections in one out of the 10 Local governments in Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District within ninety days.