Akwa Ibom State Tribunal- Weekly Updates

The Akwa Ibom Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, Thursday, ruled against an application by Udom Emmanuel to call in additional witnesses to help him advance his argument that he won the disputed April 11, 2015 governorship election in Akwa Ibom State.

Counsel to Peoples Democratic Party, Tayo Oyetibo SAN had asked the tribunal to allow the respondent bring witnesses who were not previously listed in the case.

Think Akwa Ibom! learned that the additional witnesses the embattled governor wanted to bring before the election tribunal included the former military governor of the state, Idongesit Nkanga, two former senators who had represented Uyo Senatorial District, Anietie Okon and Effiong Bob.

The current senator representing Uyo Senatorial District, Bassey Albert Akpan was also billed to appear as a witness for Mr. Emmanuel.

The tribunal accepted the argument of All Progressives governorship candidate, Umana Okon Umana that PDP’s application for additional witnesses lacked merit because the party did not supply relevant particulars to support the application.

A lawyer who is conversant with the happenings in PDP’s camp said the strategy to bring on Nkanga, Okon, Bob and other new witnesses was to counter whatever effects the appearances of the likes of Victor Attah, Don Etibet and Samuel Akpan may have had on the case. Attah, a former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Etiebet, a former petroleum minister and Akpan, governorship candidate of Accord Party in the April 11 election, had testified in the tribunal as witnesses for Umana.

“The personality of a witness, at least as seen from the eyes of a presiding judge, could be important somehow in a case,” the lawyer said. “I’m not surprise that PDP tried to bring in personalities like Nkanga and the rest to testify for them. Also, you shouldn’t forget the fact that the first few witnesses that appeared for Udom Emmanuel didn’t do well.”

Nkanga, Okon, Bob and those who traveled with them to Abuja where the tribunal is sitting are lodged by the Akwa Ibom state government in Transcorp Hilton Hotel. They are expected to fly back to Uyo over the weekend.



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