Tribunal orders inspection of 450,000 ballot papers used in Akpabio’s election

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UYO – The National and State of Assembly Election Petitions for Akwa Ibom on Friday ordered the inspection of 450,000 ballot papers used in declaring Gov. Godswill Akpabio as Senator-elect.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Akpabio the winner of the March 28 Election for Akwa Ibom North West District.
This declaration prompted the (APC) candidate for the Senatorial District, Chief Inibehe Okorie, to petition the Tribunal asking Akpabio’s election be nullified for alleged irregularities.
Ruling on the prayers of the petitioner, the Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Adedayo Oyebanji, directed that the polling documents used in the election be inspected.
Oyebanji explained that the order was derived from the provisions of Section 151 (1) of the Electoral Act 2010.
The section allows for inspection of polling documents if the Tribunal is satisfied that it could help maintain or defend an election petition.
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The chairman further directed that the inspection should be conducted within 10 days from 8, in the presence of the respondent or his agents and the security agents.
Earlier, the counsel to the petitioner, Chief Assam Assam (SAN), had prayed the Tribunal to grant leave for inspection of the polling document to verify 450,000 votes scored by Akpabio.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 35 petitions had been received by the Tribunal in the state as at May 8. (NAN)

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