On Thursday, the Court of Appeal sitting at National Industrial Court Complex, Lagos State, upheld the ruling of the National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal in Akwa Ibom state which affirmed the victory of Martins Esin as the member of the House of Representatives for Oron/Mbo/Okobo/Udung Uko/Urueoffong Oruko Federal Constituency in the February 2023 elections.
The three member panel of justices also awarded a cost of five hundred thousand naira against the appellant, in favour of each respondent, including Esin, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Recall that Robinson Edumoh of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who was defeated at the February elections dragged the respondents to the National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal, challenging the outcome of the poll.
The tribunal chaired by Justice Kudirat Jose on September 1, 2023 threw out Edumoh’s petition, ruling that the petitioner could not prove any of his allegations bordering on over-voting, non transmission of results electronically, widespread irregularities and non compliance with provisions of the Electoral Act.
Dissatisfied by the ruling, the APC candidate approached the appellate court, asking it to set aside the verdict of the tribunal.
Delivering its judgment, the Court of Appeal held, “The panel found no reason to dislodge the verdict of the National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal which affirmed the PDP candidate, Esin, as the valid winner of the election, therefore the judgement by the lower court is upheld.
“A cost of Five Hundred Thousand Naira is here by awarded in favour of each respondent, including Hon. Martins Esin, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), against the appellant.”