The All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate for the 2019 general elections, Nsima Ekere has again been defeated by Governor Udom Emmanuel.
Mr Ekere suffered a second defeat on Thursday after the Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Akwa Ibom State dismissed the petition he filed challenging the emergence of Emmanuel as the winner of the 2019 governorship election in the state.
Emmanuel, a second-term governor, according to the tribunal was duly elected as Akwa Ibom State governor.
Ekere was one time minister under the first tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Ekere had approached the tribunal to challenge Emmanuel and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner of the March 9, 3019 governorship election.
But delivering judgment on the matter, the chairman of the three-man panel, Justice A.M. Yakubu, in a unanimous ruling dismissed all the evidence of the petitioner without witnesses.
Justice Yakubu said, “Without oral evidence to confirm how the materials were arrived at, such evidence is considered as being dumped in the tribunal.”
Further citing the Supreme Court in the case of Nweke V INEC, the court ruled that “documentary evidence, however daring, cannot be thrown on the Tribunal without oral evidence linking the documents to the issues in the petitioners’ case.”
It added that the petitioners, having abandoned their prayers where they claimed that the first petitioner, Obong Nsima Ekere, was the winner of the election, all the evidence given in an effort to substantiate the said ground is expunged from the considerations of the court in the judgment.
Further noting that the petitioners failed to follow the laid down rules in front loading and listing all documents they sought to rely on in proof of their petition, the tribunal said: “The efforts and attempt by the petitioners to sandwich-in documents not pleaded nor listed by the petitioners is condemnable.”
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