The Court of Appeal, Abuja Division, has granted leave to Senator Godswill Akpabio as an interested party to appeal the judgment of the court which ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission to strike off the candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Akwa Ibom as a duly elected candidate. North-West (Ikot Ekpene) Senatorial District and replaced him by DIG Udom Ekpoudom (Ret.).
This was contained in a statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to Senator Godswill Akpabio, Mr. Jackson Udom, on Wednesday in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
The Court of Appeal on Monday, November 14, 2022, in the Appeal filed by Ekpoudom against the APC and INEC, declared Ekpoudom as the candidate of the APC for the Akwa Ibom North-West (Ikot Ekpene) Senatorial District in the 2023 election. .
Akpabio’s lawyers, Umeh Kalu SAN and Berth Igwilo, SAN, applied for Leave for Akpabio to join the Appeal as he was not a party to the proceedings so that he could approach the Supreme Court.
Delivering judgment on the leave application after hearing Mr. Umeh Kalu, SAN, Mr. Berth Igwilo, SAN, presided over by three fellow Judges of the Court of Appeal. Justice UA Ogakwu, unanimously granted Akpabio’s prayers, saying the petitioner had omitted strong issues in his affidavit and other affidavits, to be allowed to appeal the judgment of the Court of Appeal.
The court also held that since the name of Senator Godswill Akpabio had earlier been forwarded to INEC as the candidate of the APC, it was imperative that he be allowed to appeal the judgment of the court delivered in his absence.
Commenting on the judgement, Umeh Kalu, SAN, commended the judge for the reasons given in the judgement: “You cannot cut off a person’s head in his absence”.
By this resolution, Akpabio is expected to approach the Supreme Court before the end of the week.