The Election Petition Tribunal sitting at Metro Road, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Saturday dismissed Petition No. EPT/AKS/SHA/18/2019 which was filed by the APC and their candidate, Mr. Kenny Inayng Eka against the election of the House of Assembly member for Ikono State Constituency, Mr. Asuquo Nana Udo of the PDP.
The petition was dismissed by the Panel headed by Justice A. W. Akanbi because the APC and its candidate were not diligent in the prosecution of their matter.
The petition was therefore deemed as abandoned in law.
Barr. Godwill Umoh appeared with O. B. Akpan for Hon. Ifiok Udo while Ekemini Udim appeared for the PDP. Ubong Offiong appeared for the APC and Hon. Imaikop Ewang while G. F. Edoho appeared for INEC.
This is one out of the six petitions so far dismissed this week against the APC in the ongoing post election litigation in Akwa Ibom State.
It would be recalled that on Tuesday, July 9 July, 2019, four petitions were dismissed, on Wednesday July 10, 2019 apart from the Nsit Ibom State Constituency petition which was dismissed at Metro road, four petitions were also dismissed against the APC at Panel Two sitting at Sanitation Court, off Nkemba Street, Uyo for various reasons, the principal of which is lack of diligent prosecution.
One reason they noted, is the fact that majority of the petitions originated from one law office Victor Iyanam & Co and the law office was bound to be overwhelmed in view of the peculiar nature of election petitions.
The analysts have noted further that it is very difficult, if not impossible, for a single law firm to prosecute as much as 30 petitions with the diligence required in election petition.
It is however still not clear why the APC entrusted all its matters to one law firm in a State where there are hundreds of very competent and sound lawyers.
However, it is common in all most cases that Application for Prehearing were filed after the stipulated time of seven (7) days by law, which robs the Tribunal the jurisdiction to further enlist the petitions.