ABUJA: The Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly Tribunal sitting in Abuja has dismissed a petition filed by Mr. Mfon Ekerette, Ibiono Ibom State Constituency Candidate of All Progressive Congress (APC) against his co-contender in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Rt. Hon. Ime Okon on the ground of irrationality.
Delivering the judgment on Monday, 27th July, the tribunal chairman, Justice Mrs. Adedayo Oyebanji stated that, the petitioner showed lack of preparedness to continue with the case.
Speaking on telephone with this Reporter, the Lead Counsel to the two-term legislator, Barrister Goddy Umoh confirmed that the non-charlatan attitude of the petitioner was the reason why the case was dismissed and thrown out. “We just left the court, I was representing Barr. Ime Okon as the first respondent, the petition has been struck out by the Election Tribunal Team A sitting in Gubwa, Abuja. The ground is that, the APC and their Lawyers didn’t file appropriate papers for the purpose of Pre-hearing and at the last sitting on the 22nd July, the court had directed that, he should file the necessary papers and serve all the parties, so when we came to court today, we discovered that was not done, we drew the attention of the tribunal to the negligence, so the court consider it to be irrational.
“On the basis of that, the petition was struck out, basically, because the petitioner showed lack of preparedness to continue with the matter” The Legal Expert disclosed. Barr. Umoh, further revealed that, his client, was tribunal free as there was no pending case by any other candidate of another party in the court.
Meanwhile, the elated Ibiono Ibom representative in the sixth assembly, Rt. Hon. Ime Okon has described the ruling as the victory of Ibiono Ibom people, pledging to continually attract dividend of Democracy to his constituent, as well as extend his hands of fellowship to the petitioner and his teeming supporters. All effort to reach the petitioner, Mr. Mfon Ekerette, proved abortive as his two lines were switch-off, while that of his lawyer was switched to ‘voice mail’.
As it stance, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has triumph over its All Progressive Congress (APC) counterpart in four ongoing tribunal cases namely; Uyo, Etinan Federal Constituencies and Nsit Ibom and Ibiono Ibom State Constituencies. Also, Rt. Hon. Usoroh Akpanusoh (PDP) of Esit Eket/Ibeno State Constituency has won his Alliance for Democracy (AD) counterpart, Pastor Udo Monday Udo.
A tap at the Court of Appeal reveals that, none of the defeated petitioners has filed any appeal regarding the lost cases.