The electoral victory of Governor Udom Emmanuel of the Peoples Democratic Party has been held inconclusive by the Akwa Ibom Election petition tribunal.
Umana Umana of the All Progressives Congress had challenged Udom’s victory at the state governorship election tribunal.
While issuing judgment on Wednesday, the tribunal held that it was not satisfied that election held in all the polling units in the state, but further ruled that the petitioners were unable to demonstrate that card reader alone can be relied upon for accreditation.
Consequently, the tribunal resolved that Governor Udom scored the highest number of valid votes cast.
The tribunal also ruled that the experts called by the petitioners are not experts as they denied being so, therefore, they cannot express opinion as ordinary witnesses as the Evidence Act does not allow such.
According to the Evidence Act, only expert opinions are admissible.
The tribunal would also hold that voters were disenfranchised in some polling units and that elections were inconclusive in Uyo and Ibesikpo Asutan Local government areas.
The tribunal also held that some local government areas did not comply with the provisions of the law.
It held that 566,436 voters were disenfranchised as against the 890,000 voters in favour of Udom in 18 LGAs.
In its verdict, the tribunal ordered INEC to conduct fresh elections in 18 LGAs in the state.
Hence, there will be a re-run election in 18 out of 31 LGAs of Akwa Ibom state, as election only held in 13 LGAs.