Judex Okoro Calabar
Cross River State Elections Petition Tribunal has dismissed the petition filled by the All Progressives Congress (APC) against the election of Governor Ben Ayade, of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
The tribunal, presided over by Justice Josiah Majebi, held that Governor Ayade was validly elected as governor and the APC allegation cannot be proven.
John Owan-Enoh of the APC, who was the party governorship candidate, had argued that he was wrongfully excluded by the second respondent, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from the election.
Owan-Enoh, therefore, approached the tribunal seeking nullification of the election because the governor, Ayade, was erroneously declared winner by INEC.
Delivering judgement, the tribunal Chairman, Majebi, said the first and second grounds of the petition were irreconcilable and mutually exclusive.
He said the petitioner failed to seek redress within legally specified 14 days allowed for complaints.
The tribunal disagreed with the petitioner that he was wrongfully excluded by the second respondent, INEC, stressing that much of the grievances expressed by the petitioner were pre-election matters which the tribunal has no jurisdiction to entertain.