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Tribunal upholds Ayade’s victory as Cross River Gov, dismisses Owan-Enoh’s petition

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The governor’s electoral court in the state of Cross River confirmed the victory of Governor Prof. Ben Ayade of the People Democratic Party (PDP) in the governor’s election on March 9th.

In his decision on the petition labeled EPT / CAL / Gov / 1/2019, the president of the court, Judge Josiah Majebi, on Thursday at Moore Road Calabar, stated that the first and second grounds of the petition were irreconcilable and mutually exclusive .

He said that in the first place, the petitioner had not requested a repair within the 14 days provided for by the law for complaints. The court strongly disagreed with the petitioner that the second defendant, INEC, had unfairly excluded him, and stressed that most of the complaints made in the petitioner were pre-election issues that his court has no jurisdiction to deal with.

These issues include the appointment, withdrawal and exclusion from disputed elections. “Any dispute within a particular political party that is presented to the elections before the actual elections, such as appointment, withdrawal or exclusion, are pre-election issues. Our mandates do not cover them. Therefore, these are ineffective reasons. Therefore, we beat them and others for incompetence. ”

The court also stated that there have been many disputes on the part of APC stakeholders regarding the election of the governor who complicated the petition.

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The judge stated that he carefully evaluated the requests, written addresses and opposing replies of the defendants and annulled many of the petitioner’s views due to lack of merit and serious abuse of the judicial procedure.

He maintained that the petition is academic, hypothetical, and frivolous adding that, “the petitioner’s allegation that he was excluded from the election yet he scored valid votes of 131,161 takes his petition contradictory.

“Having painstakingly and profoundly looked over the submissions and considered several legal authorities, we hereby reject entire evidences given by the petitioner, and dismiss the petition as lacking in merit. We resolved the matter in favour of the first respondent.

“Consequently, we herbye declare that Prof Benedict Ayade was duly elected on 9th March, 2019 as the governor of Cross River State”.

It would be recalled that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had declared Ayade winner of the March 9th governorship election.

Owan-Enoh had approached the tribunal seeking to cancel the outcome of the election on the grounds that he was wrongfully excluded from participating in the election.