The Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Cross River has dismissed the petition of Mr Fidelis Ugbo of Labour Party against Gov. Ben Ayade of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The tribunal Chairman, Justice Aliyu Maiyaki, dismissed the petition in Calabar on Friday following the withdrawal of the case by Mr Bolutife Olusegun, Counsel to the petitioner.
Ugbo had challenged the declaration of Ayade as the winner of March 28 governorship election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Olusegun his counsel had urged the tribunal to strike out the petition rather than dismissal because the petition was still at preliminary stage. But Ayade’s Counsel, Mr Mba Ukweni, urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition because witnesses had been called and documents on the elections tendered before the tribunal.
Also, Counsel to the INEC, Mr Roland Otaru, urged the tribunal to disregard the prayer of the petitioner and dismiss the case rather than striking it out. In his ruling, “Maiyaki held that the tribunal aligned with the argument of the respondents that the petition should be dismissed. “All the respondents have agreed that the application is that of dismissal. We have carefully considered the submissions of the counsels. “We have considered that the proper order is dismissal.
Accordingly, the application is granted and the petition dismissed, ” Maiyaki held. In his response, Olusegun expressed gratitude to the tribunal and wished the members well. Reacting, the Secretary of the PDP in the state, Mr Godwin Ettah, described Ugbo’s action as `a big relief and a welcome development’. According to Ettah, as a family there is no victor and no vanquished. The party under the leadership of Gov. Ayade is poised to developing the state. Mr Alphonsus Eba, Legal Adviser to Gov. Ayade, commended Ugbo for allowing peace to reign in the state.