Joe Effiong, Uyo with agency report
Akwa Ibom Governor, Udom Emmanuel, has dedicated his victory at the governorship election petition tribunal, sitting in Uyo, to God and the people of the state.
The governor said the victory the people gave him at the March 9 gubernatorial election has been reaffirmed by the election petition tribunal.
“Let me use this opportunity to thank God, who saw us through the campaigns, the elections and the victory without any loss of lives. This could only have happened, because we believe in God and His presence and guidance has never departed and will never depart from this state.
“To you my dear and great Akwaibomites, thank you for the love, faith, belief and trust you have shown me, your prayers and hope in my capacity to take this state to a place and point that would stand out as a source of reference in what an inspired and people-centric governance can and should be.
“To my fellow brothers and sisters on the opposite end of the political divide, I am extending my hand of fellowship again to join me in building a state that would be the pride of us all- an economically viable, infrastructurally developed, morally sound and forward looking state where the abiding cords of our unity and brotherhood will be strengthened.
“In every political contest, a winner must emerge and the loser must accept the verdict of the people. The Akwa Ibom people have spoken. They spoke loudly and clearly on March 9 by overwhelmingly re-electing me for a second term.
“The time has come for us to come together and move our state forward. The Completion Agenda is an Akwa Ibom agenda and we must all be interested in its execution,” he said in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Ekerete Udoh.
Nsima Ekere, of the All Progressives Congress (APC) filed a petition challenging the result of the March 9 election in which Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the re-election of Emmanuel as the governor of Akwa Ibom.
Delivering judgement, the three-member tribunal, headed by Justice A. M. Yakuba, dismissed the case filed by APC and its candidate, Ekete, on the grounds that the petition lacked merit.
Justice Yakubu held that the petitioners failed to call witnesses in eight local government areas out of the 21 where they claimed to have won.
Consequently, tribunal discountenance every documentary evidence that were brought before it.
Tribunal accordingly declared Emmamuel as the duly elected governor of Akwa Ibom.
Meanwhile, Governor Emmanuel has apologised to a female journalist, who was brutalised and dumped in prison custody by the state’s environmental sanitation agency.
Mary Ekere was abducted and brutalised by touts attached to the Chairman of the environmental sanitation management body, Akpan Ikim, while taking pictures of the activities of the touts at Ibom Plaza on Monday and summarily charged to court and remanded in prison the same day.
Following an uproar the incident generated in the media, within and outside the state, Ekere was released on Wednesday.
Consequently, the governor sent a fence-mending delegation to meet and apologise to the lady journalist as well as the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Akwa Ibom State Council.
The leader of the delegation and the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Uwemedimo Nwoko, expressed the regret of government, attributing it to the overzealousness of a few officials.
Nwoko reiterated government’s continuous support to press freedom, NUJ and journalists as a whole.