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APC loses suit to stop Akwa Ibom council polls

All Progressives Congress (APC) has lost its bid to stop the conduct of the Akwa Ibom State Local Government Councils election following the dismissal of its suit by a Federal High Court in Uyo, yesterday.

The party had filled the suit against the Akwa Ibom State Independent Electoral commission (AKISIEC) seeking to bar them from conducting the December 2 council polls in the  State.

The court presided over by Justice F. O. Riman, held that the suit has no bases in law and lacked the backing of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended.

Further, the court held that the APC failed to present any legal reasons in support of their suit and therefore was unable to establish any fact in support of the suit.

The court also dismissed the APC’s prayer that the election would disenfranchised some electorate because the AKISIEC failed to obtain and compile an updated Electoral Register and published same for public scrutiny 60 days before the election. The court said the argument lacked constitutional basis.

The court also dismissed the argument by the APC that AKISIEC should not consider using the register that was used in 2015 elections for the forthcoming Local Government Elections.

However, it agreed with the submission of the defendants- Akwa Ibom State Independent Electoral Commission (AKISIEC), Akwa Ibom State Government (AKSG), Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) – that a similar register was used in the conduct of the Local Government Elections in the states like Benue and Lagos early this year without any controversy in the electioneering processes.

The Attorney General of the State and Commissioner for Justice, Barr Uwemedimo Nwoko, Esq., represented both the state government and AKISIEC while the Legal Adviser for PDP, Godswill Umoh, Esq., represented PDP.

Speaking later, the PDP Legal Adviser, Mr. Umoh said both the state government and the party were scared of likely outcome considering the level of preparations already put in place by AKISIEC and the huge amount already expended on the exercise.

“We got scared, when you know how much money is put in place in preparation for the forthcoming elections. It would have been disastrous if the judgment had gone the other way which would have meant that all the efforts and preparations of the PDP in campaigning in all the Local Government Areas would have come to a naught.”

The APC state publicity secretary barrister Edet Bassey in his reaction said, “our legal team has applied for the ruling to enable the party study the grounds of the  judgment. “I am sure in one week we will get the judgment, we will study it before we will know the next line of action.

About Patrick Andrew, Abuja

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