The Supreme Court last night upheld the elections of Akwa Ibom governor Udom Emmanuel and his Abia State counterpart, Okezie Ikpeazu in the April 11, 2015 general elections.
In a unanimous judgement, a full panel of the apex court presided over by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Mahmud Mohammed, set aside the judgement of election petitions tribunal and the Court of Appeal which cancelled elections in 18 local governments out of the 31 local government areas in Akwa Ibom State and ordered a fresh elections.
For Abia State, the apex court also set aside the decision of the Court of Appeal in Owerri which had earlier nullified Ikpeazu’s election and declared Alex Otti of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) as winner of the April 11, 2015 governorship poll.
The appellate court had declared Otti as the winner , after annulling Ikpeazu’s election on the grounds of substantial non-compliance with the electoral law.
But the apex court said it will give its reasons for the judgement in Akwa Ibom appeal on February 15 and February 26 for Abia State matter.
While the hearing of the appeals lasted for about 10 hours, with parties in the two separate suits adopting their briefs, the apex court later rose at about 8pm and returned at about 9:45pm to deliver the judgement.
While the justices led by the CJN were in the chambers preparing the judgement, heavy security was deployed to the apex court, apparently to contain huge crowd of supporters of the parties in the appeal who thronged the court in show of solidarity.