The election of the lawmaker, representing Ikono/Ini Federal Constituency of Akwa Ibom State at the National Assembly, Honourable Emmanuel Ukpong-Udo, has been nullified by the Appeal Court sitting in Abuja.
The Appeal Court in a judgement delivered by Justice Abba Mohammed on Wednesday, stated that the declaration and return of Ukpong-Udo, by the Independent National Electoral Commission, was done in violation of clear provisions of the Electoral Act 2022, Regulations and Guidelines for the conduct of Election 2022 and Manual for Election Officials 2023.
It would be recalled that the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in the State, had earlier ordered a supplementary election in the polling units where election was not held in Ikono/Ini Federal Constituency of Akwa Ibom state.
The election is to be conducted in 33 polling units in the Constituency, to determine the winner of the February 25 election in the Federal Constituency.
INEC had last year, declared Ukpong-Udo of the Young Progressive Party, as the winner of the House of Representatives Election, having scored 19, 926 votes, to defeat his closest rival, Glory Edet of the Peoples Democratic Party, who scored 15,765 votes.
However, INEC declared the election as inconclusive and rescheduled a supplementary election in certain polling units, following issues of violence, a position the court held is contrary to the Electoral Act.
Having witnessed more violence during the supplementary election, INEC was forced to cancel the election, and consequently, declared the YPP candidate winner, almost a month later.
Unhappy with the declaration, the PDP candidate, filed a petition before the appeal court through her legal counsel and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Uwemedimo Nwoko, praying the tribunal to invalidate the return of Ukpong-Udo.
The appellate court, however on Wednesday, nullified the YPP lawmaker’s victory, as sought by the PDP candidate.