The Court of Appeal in Calabar, Cross River State, directed a run-off vote in one of the councils in Akwa Ibom, North-West Senate Zone, to decide the winner of the election between Minister of Niger Delta Godswill Akpabio and Senator Chris Ekpeyong.
In its decision on Saturday, the Court ordered the re-election of the local government of Essien Udim, from which Akapbio emerged.
The court ruled that the rerun should hold within 90 days.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared that Ekpeyong, a former Deputy Governor, had won the elections under the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Akpabio filed a petition against his victory at the tribunal.
He asked the tribunal to set aside Ekpenyong’s election, alleging that it was marred by irregularities.
But describing the petition as “lacking in merit”, the tribunal said the petitioner failed to prove that he won the election.
The tribunal also said Akpabio failed to present convincing evidence of non-compliance with the electoral act as raised in his petition.
Dissatisfied with the verdict of the tribunal, the Niger Delta minister headed to the appellate court.
Despite the Appeal court ruling, Ekpeyong still holds the lead over Akpabio in votes already won. He has from the other nine LGS in the district 114 973 votes to Akpabio’s 76,917.