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Court Orders INEC To Accept Akpabio As Akwa Ibom APC Senatorial Candidate

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A Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to recognize Godswill Akpabio as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Akwa Ibom north-west senatorial district in 2023.

Court Orders INEC To Accept Akpabio As Akwa Ibom APC Senatorial Candidate

INEC Asked To Accept Akpabio As Senatorial Candidate

On May 27, a former deputy inspector-general of police (DIG), Udom Ekpoudom had won the primary election for Akwa Ibom north-west senatorial district.

A parallel primary election was also conducted and won by Ekperikpe Ekpo, but was later cancelled over irregularities. A rerun conducted on June 8 was said to have produced Akpabio as the winner of the exercise.

But the INEC had refused to recognise Akpabio as a candidate because the commission did not monitor the APC primary which he claimed to have won.

Consequently, the APC and Akpabio approached the court to seek redress.

Delivering Judgement on Thursday, September 15, Justice Emeka Nwite held that the INEC acted illegally for refusing to accept and publish Akpabio’s name even when it was sent to it by the APC as its candidate.

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The judge added that Akpabio was validly nominated as the Akwa – Ibom Northwest Senatorial District candidate of the APC from the primary conducted by the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) on June 9, 2022.

He 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 first plaintiff for the Akwa-Iborn Northwest Senatorial District elections in the person of the second plaintiff (Akpabio) as received from the first plaintiff.

Justice Nwite also declared that INEC cannot publish any other name or particulars of any other candidate as candidate of the APC for the Akwa – lbom North/West Senatorial District elections, except as nominated, submitted and received from the APC

He further ordered INEC to publish the name and particulars of Akpabio as the candidate of the APC for the Akwa-Iborn North/West Senatorial District in the 2023 general elections as nominated and submitted to it by the APC.

KanyiDaily recalls that Godswill Akpabio had contested the APC presidential primary in Abuja, but stepped down for the former governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu, who emerged as the party presidential candidate.

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