Former Senate Minority Leader and the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Godswill Akpabio has lost at the National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Uyo where he is challenging the election of Senator Christopher Ekpenyong as senator representing Akwa Ibom North West.
Delivering judgment, the Chairman of the three-member panel, Justice W.O. Akanbi, held that Ekpenyong, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) was duly elected by majority votes cast during the senatorial election.
However, Justice S. Hafizu in a dissenting judgement held that it was his view that Senator Akpabio overwhelmingly won the election and ought to have been returned as the duly elected Senator for the district.
The panel through a majority decision dismissed the petition filed by Senator Godswill Akpabio of the All Progressives Congress(APC) challenging the declaration of Ekpenyong by the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) as the winner of the election.
Describing the petition as “lacking in merit,” the panel stated that the petitioner failed to prove that he won the said election as well as failed to present convincing evidence of noncompliance with the Electoral Act as raised in his petition.
Akpabio had alleged in his petition that INEC in collaboration with some PDP chieftains in the senatorial district wrongfully declared Ekpenyong and his party the winner of the poll, having scored 118,215 as against Akpabio’s 83,158.
He said result sheets from Akwa Ibom INEC office showed he won the election.