The Akwa Ibom Governorship Election Petitions tribunal has adjourned till October 8th for final addresses by all the parties in the case in which Mr Umana Okon
Umana of the All Progressives Congress is challenging the victory of Mr Udom Emmanuel of the Peoples Democratic Party as Governor in the April 11, 2015 elections.
[Photo: The three musketeers, Godswill Akpabio, Udom Emmanuel Umana Umana]
The adjournment came after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Resident Electoral Commissioner who were joined in the suit as 3rd and 4th respondents, announced that they have closed their defense, fully satisfied by the testimonies of their witnesses and saw no need to dwell further on the issue.
Counsel to INEC and the Akwa Ibom REC, Alex Ojiekeme told the tribunal on Thursday that they had reviewed their case and the cases of all the other parties and believed that they had sufficiently proven that credible governorship elections were conducted in Akwa Ibom State.
The Chairman of the three-man panel Justice Sadiq Umar ruled that the lawyers could now go and prepare their final addresses and that all pending applications will be taken with the final addresses on the 8th of October, this year.
Commenting on the development, Counsel to the 1st Respondent Paul Usoroh SAN, expressed confidence about his case, saying, “I am very comfortable and confident about the 1st Respondent’s case and I am very certain that this will come out in the final addresses, when this is prepared and filed before the tribunal.
Mr. Usoroh said he was comfortable with the case he presented and also that the INEC counsels were comfortable with their case.
On his part, PDP’s Counsel Tayo Oyetibo said INEC decided to close their defense based on their satisfaction with the quality of evidences they had already presented.
“So far so good, we are satisfied with the quality of evidences given so far on the side of the defense and the next thing is for parties to review all the evidences that have been presented, prepare the written addresses, file same and then we come back on October 8th for oral presentation of our arguments before the matter is adjourned for judgement,” Oyetibo narrated.
Counsel to the Petitioner, Solomon Umoh (SAN), also expressed satisfaction with the tribunal saying, “it was a happy day for all the litigants as well as their counsels alike. We are very comfortable with the tribunal.”
By Mfonobong Ukpong