The court of appeal sitting in Calabar, Cross River state, has affirmed the victory of Udom Emmanuel, governor of Akwa Ibom in the March 9 gubernatorial election.
Emmanuel, who ran under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), defeated Nsima Ekere, his All Progressives Congress (APC) rival, in the March election.
However, Ekere challenged his victory at the tribunal but lost.
The tribunal held that the petitioner could not lead credible evidence to prove his claim that the elections were not conducted in substantial compliance with the Electoral Act.
The APC candidate had headed to the appeal court after losing at the tribunal.
On Wednesday, a five-man panel gave verdict on all the issues set out by parties in the appeal.
The appellate court first affirmed the decision of the tribunal to reject a series of documents filed by the petitioner.
The court affirmed the tribunal’s judgement and upheld its findings on evidence. The appellate court noted that out of the results of 21 local government areas challenged, the petitioner did not lead any evidence in prove of their case in eight and led very scanty evidence which on cross examination were rendered very impotent in the other local governments were they made any effort to prove their claims.
The court again held that the decision of the tribunal was unassailable on that score and therefore affirmed same.
The court also agreed with the lower tribunal for not relying on documents “dumped” by the petitioners/appellants without being linked by them to any of the issues raised and canvassed by the petitioner.
The court thereupon affirmed the victory of Emmanuel and awarded the cost of N500,000 in favour of the first respondent to be paid by the appellants.