The Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal has granted an application by Mr. Nsima Ekere and the All Progressives Congress (APC) to insert omitted pages in its amended Petition filed by Mr. Nsima Ekere and APC. In a rather keenly contested application which saw Counsel for the Parties adumbrate on their legal positions, the Tribunal unanimously agreed with the Petitioners and granted the application. Mr. Ekere was the Governorship Candidate of the APC in Akwa Ibom State and is challenging the outcome of the March 9, 2019 election that saw Mr. Udom Emmanuel being declared the winner in an election whose outcome is seen as largely flawed and manipulated.
While reviewing the arguments of Counsel, the Tribunal berated Counsel for the Respondents for filing lengthy written addresses and their undue reliance on technicality which could frustrate the wheels of justice. It held that reliance on technicality was archaic and it is now common knowledge that substantial justice overrides unnecessary technicality. He relied on the decision of the Court of Appeal in the case of MAMMAN v. BWACHA.
He held that contrary to their view that the Petitioners were being indulged another opportunity at amendment of the Petition, the Petition was not being amended as the error was occasioned by inadvertence in the course of compilation which is human and expected.
It has been observed that the Respondents have made a habit of objecting in unison to the slightest application of the petitioners – a position viewed as aimed at frustrating the hearing of the case of the Petitioners on merit.