By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Following the withdrawal of his case filed at the Federal High Court in Abuja, which sought to challenge his Senate re-election loss, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District in the February 23 exercise, Mr Godswill Akpabio, and his party, have approached the Election Tribunal, sitting in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, to kick-start the legal processes that would lead to the validation of his victory at the poll.
Mr Akpabio is seeking to upturn the victory of Mr Christopher Ekpenyong and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), based on perceived electoral irregularities which characterised the said election.
The former Senate Minority Leader had, while the election was ongoing, besieged the office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), alleging cases of infractions and deliberate violations of the electoral law and guidelines during the senatorial election.
In the said election, INEC had in collaboration with some PDP chieftains in the senatorial district, wrongfully declared Mr Ekpeyong and his party, the PDP, winner of the poll, having scored 118,215 as against Akpabio’s 83,158.
However, incontrovertible result sheets from Akwa Ibom INEC office showed different figures that had Akpabio securing 138,256 votes as against Ekpeyong’s 123,843.
Dissatisfied with the conduct and outcome of the election, the former governor of Akwa Ibom and his party vowed to approach the election petition tribunal to ventilate their grievances as well as reclaim their stolen mandate.
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