Akwa Ibom Tribunal: LIVE UPDATES

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The Akwa Ibom Election tribunal today resumed sitting for adoption of written addresses by the Petitioner and the Respondents.

Umana Umana of the APC Is challenging the electoral Victory of Governor Emmanuel Udom of Akwa Ibom.

Here Are the UPDATES
Tribunal resumes hearing. Petitioners and 2nd respondent in court; others absent

Wole Olanipekun, SAN with Solomon Umoh, SAN, Dayo Akinlaja, SAN & 18 others for the Petitioners;

Paul Usoro, SAN with Chief Ibiofong, SAN & 14 others for the 1st respondent; Tayo Oyetibo, SAN with Adekunle Oyesanya

& 5 others for the 2nd respondent; Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN and 4 others for the 3rd & 4th respondents.

Tribunal is to proceed with the hearing of the pending motions by the 1st and 2nd respondents.

* the adoption of the Final Written Addresses will follow after the hearing of the motions*

**2nd respondent’s (PDP) motion dated and filed on 13th July, 2015 is to be taken first**

PDP’s Motion is a preliminary objection challenging the Witness Statement on Oath of the Petitioners’ Witnesses

Chief Olanipekun informs the tribunal that there had been a ruling on a similar motion which the 1st respondent had filed

.but if the 2nd respondent elects to go on with it then the Petitioners will respond by also adopting their reply to the motion

In Court, Obong Victor Attah appears to witness the adoption of written addresses. With him Umana

Mr. Oyetibo moves to adopt his motion but Chief Olanipekun interjects by saying that the ground upon which he intends to rely on

.are the same as submitted by the 1st respondent. Mr Oyetibo insists that he has other grounds.

Umana Okon Umana walking today in Court

Chief Sunny Jackson, Obong Attah, Mrs Florence Umana and Obong Umana in court

Still in Court today

Mr. Usoro and Dr. Ikpeazu said they are not objecting to the application. Dr. Ikpeazu says they remain neutral as INEC

Mr. Oyetibo submits that no law authorizes a party to use letters or initials as name in a witness statement on oath and.

.even if a party should be allowed to do so it violates the”Principle of Equal Opportunity”as enshrined in section 36 of the Constitution.

Mr Oyetibo further submits that except for PW24 all other Witness Statements on oath..

falls short of the law and therefore should be struck out as lacking in competence.

Chief Olanipekun says even the 3rd and 4th respondents used alphabets in their witness statement on oath and nobody crucified them

He says in the case of AbubakarVsYar’Adua,the Supreme Court had ruled that parties are at liberty to use alphabets and says that

the 2nd respondent has not brought any new issue and therefore the application should be discountenanced

The ruling in the main Application by the 2nd respondent is reserved for a latter date

1st respondent(Udom)is now moving his own Applications & the first one is to regularise the two reply addresses by 2nd respondent
Chief Olanipekun objects to the Application on the ground that no reason had been adduced by the 1st respondent.

.why he is making the application now instead of since the hearing of the petition as allowed by the Statutes.

He also says that the petitioners were just served with the application this morning.

Chief Olanipekun further submits that the law expects “exceptional reason” to be given, which is higher than substantial reason..

but in this case no substantial reason (talk more of exceptional) has been given

Chief Olanipekun refers to the case of Ogboru Vs Ibori which stipulates that the essence of a reply is not to be used by a party.

to re-argue his case or to use it as a repair kit to his case. He urges the tribunal to dismiss the application.

Mr. Usoro informs the tribunal that going into the merit of the application they are only out of time by one day

Mr Usoro therefore urges the tribunal to grant the application for extension of time

**Tribunal seems to be writing its ruling now in the open court** Ruling is being read

..applying for an extension of time within which to file the reply to the main application

Tribunal rules: The application is granted as prayed as the petitioners will not be prejudiced by the grant of same.

Mr Usoro maintains that the petitioners should wait till he moves the substantive application

1st respondent now goes ahead to move his Application dated and filed on the 5th of July, 2015

..praying the tribunal to dismiss the petition for being contrary to the provisions of the Electoral Act

Chief Olanipekun informs the tribunal that in opposing the application,the petitioners had filed a counter affidavit dated and

..filed on 10th July, 2015. He maintains that the application lacks merit and relied again on the case of Ogboru Vs Ibori.

He further says that 1st respondent’s Reply to Petitioners’ Reply is no reply at all as it amounts to “Jurisprudential Aberration

Chief Olanipekun urges the tribunal to dismiss the application for lacking in merit as it does not allow for the application.

which fall short of the same ground upon which the 1st respondent (Udom) is challenging the petition

of the equal opportunity doctrine in favour of the petitioners.

Chief Olanipekun says he who comes to equity must come with clean hands. He refers to the processes filed by both PDP and INEC.

Tribunal reserves ruling for a latter date to be communicated to counsel

.he therefore urges the tribunal to uphold it and dismiss the petition

1st respondent is ready to move his second application which is also challenging the competence of the petition.

on the ground that the 1st petitioner is not qualified as a candidate in the election

In reply, Mr. Usoro maintains that grounds 2, 3 & 4 are Germaine to the determination of the issue before the tribunal;

to urge the tribunal to dismiss the application for lacking in merit

Chief Olanipekun adopts the petitioners’ counter affidavit opposing the application and goes ahead


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* the contention is that the deputy gov. candidate to Chief Umana is not qualified to stand as a candidate for the election.

and to that extent, the governorship candidate, Chief Umana, is not disqualified as he cannot stand alone**

Mr. Oyetibo and Dr. Ikpeazu have no objection to the application

Chief Olanipekun adopts the petitioners’ counter affidavit opposing the application and.

goes ahead to urge the tribunal to dismiss the application for lacking in merit

Chief Olanipekun refers to paragraph 20 of the 1st respondent’s Reply to the Petition where he averred that he would rely on the..

.documents to be produced to substantiate the fact that the deputy governorship candidate of APC was not qualified

Chief Olanipekun submits that neither the 1st respondent nor other respondents adduced any evidence during hearing to support.

the case of non-qualification of the deputy gov.candidate,therefore it should be discountenanced as it stands on nothing.

**Drama and laughter in court as Mr. Oyetibo asked Chief Olanipekun to provide……citation to the biblical…

Chief Olanipekun submits that application of this kind stands on its own, not tied to the response to the Petition

Replying, Mr. Usoro insists that the application raises a jurisdictional question which can be raised at anytime

Mr. Usoro cites the case of PDP vs Nyako which holds that jurisdictional issue can be raised at any time.

He says that Chief Olanipekun was the one who raised jurisdictional issue in the above case at the Supreme court.

Mr Usoro urges the tribunal to grant the application and dismiss the petition.

Ruling is reserved for a latter date to be communicated to counsel. 2nd respondent (PDP) has another application

Oyetibo moves the 2nd application for 2nd respondent&informs tribunal that there are no counter affidavit opposing his application

Opposing the application, Chief Olanipekun adopts the petitioners’ written address against the application.

The 2nd respondent’s 2nd application is for extension of time to file their final written address


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Mr. Usoro and Dr. Ikpeazu are not opposing the application

There is a contention in court that petitioners written address exceeded the 40 pages..

of “font 12,Times New Roman”as ordered by the tribunal

Chief Olanipekun submits that paragraph 45 of the 1st schedule to the Electoral Act as cited by the 2nd respondent

(with respect to abridgment and extension of time) does not apply to final written address. He further submits that the.

tribunal has no discretion in dealing with this issue as it is mandatory that the respondent shall file..

his final written address within 5 days of service of the petitioners final written address.

Chief Olanipekun cites the case of ACN vs. Nyako which held that election petition is sui generis and.

the time within which to file final written address cannot be abridged.He therefore urges tribunal to dismiss the application

Chief Olanipekun urges tribunal to hold that contention of petitioners does not hold water & should therefore…

Mr. Oyetibo replies that if the argument is the use of “Shall” restricts the tribunal from extending time,it..

restricts it from abridging time and therefore the 5 days stipulated by the law..

subsist and the abridged time of 3 days given by the tribunal fails

Ruling stood down for 4:30pm today.

PLEASE WE ARE HAVING NETWORK CHALLENGES TODAY,SORRY FOR THE INCONVENIENCE.


SIGNED:PUO

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