The Court of Appeal in Abuja on Monday nullified the selection of Godswill Akpabio as a senatorial candidate. All Progressives Congress (APC) for Akwa Ibom North West District.
The appellate court set aside the judgment of a Federal High Court, Abuja, which ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to publish the former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, as it submitted Mr. Akpabio’s name as the APC candidate in the constituency. the party
Federal Court Judge Emeka Nwite said INEC “cannot pick a candidate and impose it on a political party”.
The judgment of the Court of Appeal, hours after a Federal Court in Uyo, nullified the first Akwa Ibom APC government, leaving APC members and supporters in the state shocked.
The Federal High Court, Uyo, held that the governorship candidate of the APC, Akanimo Udofia, was not a member of the party, thereby disqualifying him from contesting a new gubernatorial primary of the party.
Imo Akpan, a lawyer and leader of the APC in Akwa Ibom, confirmed the annulment of Mr. Akpabio’s election in a Facebook post on Monday night.
“The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has declared Udom Ekpoudom as the duly elected APC Senatorial candidate for the 2023 Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District.
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“Unanimously, the Court in its wisdom held that the Senate primaries held on May 27, 2022 were valid,” Mr. Akpan, a member of the Akan Udofia/Victor Antai Akwa Ibom Governorship Campaign Council, said on social media. the message
Why the Court of Appeal ruled against Akpabio
Channels TV reports that the judgment of the three-man panel, read by Justice Danlami Senchi, said Mr. Akpabio failed to present evidence of arguments within the time limit set by the rules.
Mr. Ekpoudom, a retired Deputy Inspector General of Police, was approved by INEC as a valid elected candidate of the APC in the district, having contested and won the APC primaries held on May 27.
But APC leaders, both in the state and nationally, preferred Mr. Akpabio as their candidate after the former minister “won” another senatorial primary hastily organized by a faction of the state party.
According to Channels TV report, the Court of Appeal ruled that Mr. Akpabio, who was the APC presidential candidate, could not participate in the party’s valid primaries held on May 27 and controlled by INEC, which produced Mr. Ekpoudom. a candidate
“The judgments of their noble lords, however shocking, are that our judicial institutions must be strengthened and protected from interference by outside forces. It must be our collective decision to ensure judicial independence for the common good.
“However, the leadership of the party is discussing the judgments and their various implications with the legal team and will soon announce its decision on the next course of action,” APC leader Akpan said of the Court of Appeal. judgment and that of the Federal Court, Uyo.
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