Aniekan Bassey, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has been declared the winner of the Akwa Ibom North-East Senatorial District by the National Assembly Election Tribunal in Uyo.
On Thursday, a tribunal presided over by the Honorable Justice B.A. Taiwo ruled that Bassey was the legitimate victor in the Uyo senate election held on February 25, 2023.
He claimed that Mr. Emaeyak Ukpong of the All Progressives Congress (APC) had not provided any evidence to back up his claims of overvoting, widespread irregularities, and non-compliance with provisions of the Electoral Act, despite bringing these matters before the tribunal.
Ukpong, represented by Barrister Jumbo Udom, argued before the tribunal that Senator Bassey’s victory should be overturned because of his claimed violation of the Electoral Act 2022.
Counsels for Bassey, led by Barrister Sam Ikpo, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), led by Barrister Emmanuel Enoidem, and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) requested the tribunal to dismiss the petitioner’s case for lack of merit because the burden of proof was on the petitioner.
The court found the petition to be without merit and pronounced Bassey to have been duly elected.
Bassey praised the tribunal, saying that the ruling was a win for democracy since it sided with the rule of law rather than personal feelings.
He urged his rival to work with him for the benefit of their district and of Akwa Ibom State as a whole.