The governorship election tribunal sitting in Calabar, the Cross River State capital has delivered its verdict on the petitions brought before it by the opposition party’s, candidate, Senator Sandy Onor of the Peoples Demogratic, PDP, challenging the victory of the ruling party’s candidate, Prince Bassey Otu of All Progressive Congress, APC.
Upholding the victory of Senator Bassey Otu, in a ruling on Tuesday, the tribunal chairman, Justice Oken Inneh, dismissed all the petitions for lack of merit.
This decision by the tribunal reaffirms the election of Senator Prince Bassey Otu as the governor of Cross River State.
The ruling signifies a victory for the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, who emerged victorious in the March 18th governorship election.
The opposition party’s candidate, Senator Sandy Onor, had challenged the outcome of the election, alleging, lack of educational qualification of the ruling party’s candidate, featuring a deputy with a dual citizenship as well irregularities and electoral malpractices.
However, the tribunal found no substantial evidence to support these claims and concluded that the petitions lacked merit.
Justice Oken Inneh, in his ruling, emphasized that the burden of proof lies with the petitioner, and in this case, Senator Onoh failed to provide sufficient evidence to substantiate his claims.
The tribunal’s decision, therefore, reflects the importance of presenting strong and compelling evidence in electoral disputes.
The dismissal of the petitions by the tribunal is a significant development in the political landscape of Cross River State.
It solidifies the mandate given to Senator Prince Bassey Otu by the people of the state and affirms the legitimacy of his election as the governor.
This ruling also highlights the effectiveness and impartiality of the judiciary in upholding the principles of justice and fairness.