Akwa Ibom: 5 parties storm election tribunal with 15 petitions
From Joe Effiong, Uyo
15 petitions have so far been received by the 2023 National Assembly and Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
The secretary of the tribunal in the state, Mr Ibrahim Usman, who disclosed this to newsmen in Uyo on Wednesday, explained that the 15 petitions were filed by five political parties, namely; the All Progressives Congress (APC), Young Progressives Party (YPP), New Nigerian People’s Party (NNPP), Labour Party (LP) and Allied People’s Movement (APM).
Usman added that out of the 15 petitions received, eleven were filed against the conduct of the House of Representatives and four petitions from the Senate.
He also disclosed that two motions filed by YPP for the inspection of election materials have been granted by the tribunal.
“Similarly, an application by the All Progressives Congress in respect of the governorship election for inspection of election materials was received and petition granted. We are in the process of effecting service of the petitions on the respondents,” he said.
According to him, the senatorial petitions received were from Akwa Ibom North East and Akwa Ibom South senatorial districts while no petition was received from Akwa Ibom North West.
The Akwa Ibom North East (Uyo) Senatorial District election and Akwa Ibom South (Eket) Senatorial District Senatorial elections were respectively won by Mr Aniekan Bassey and Dr Ekong Bassey of the PDP, while that of Akwa Ibom North West (Ikot Ekpene) Senatorial District, was won by Sen Godswill Akpabio of the PDP.
Usman said that the Electoral Act allows 21 days for the petitioner to file a petition from the date of declaration and 21 days for the respondents to file their responses after receiving them.
The tribunal secretary did not disclose whether there was any petition filed so far against the governorship and state house of assembly elections, in which the PDP won the governorship and 23 seats in the state legislature.
He did not also disclose which of the disgruntled parties had the highest number of petitions.
Eighteen political parties registered for the election in that state.
Of the five officially aggrieved political parties, only two; the APC and the YPP won any position while the LP, NNPP and the APM, joined the rest of the parties only as also-rans in the 2023 election in the state.
The tribunal has yet to commence its inaugural sitting.