HIGH COURT ORDERS INEC TO NAME AKPABIO AS APC SENATORIAL CANDIDATE FOR AKWA IBOM NORTH.
Written by AIGBOKHAEBHO OKHUELEIGBE on September 15, 2022
A Federal High Court in Abuja has directed the Independent National Electoral Commission to accept former Minister of Niger Delta, Godswill Akpabio, as the All Progressives Congress Senatorial candidate.
The court also ordered INEC to publish Akpabio’s name as APC senatorial candidate for Akwa Ibom North/West senatorial district in 2023.
Justice Nwite held that INEC acted illegally by refusing to accept and publish Akpabio’s name when it was submitted to it by the APC as its candidate and ruled Akpabio was validly nominated as the Akwa – Ibom North/West Senatorial District candidate of the APC from the primary conducted by the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) on June 9, 2022.
The court said INEC is bound by the provisions of Section 29 (3) of the Electoral Act to publish only the personal particulars of the candidate of the APC for the Akwa-Ibom North/West Senatorial District election in the person of Akpabio as received from the party.
The judge faulted INEC for electing to monitor the May 27 primary election, conducted by a faction of the party led by Augustine Ekanem as against the June 9 primary conducted by the APC NWC and further noted that despite being invited and notified, INEC chose not to attend, tagging the primary election illegal, the validly conducted primary of the APC where Akpabio was elected and nominated.
INEC had rejected the primaries which produced Senator Godswill Akpabio as the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in Akwa Ibom North West senatorial district, claiming it was not validly nominated.