The Court of Appeal has nullified the candidacy of the former Minister of Niger Delta, Godswill Akpabio, as the All Progressives Congress, APC, senatorial candidate for Akwa-Ibom North/West District in the 2023 General Elections.
The judgment was delivered on Monday evening in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.
Recall that the Federal High Court had ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to recognise Akpabio as the APC Senatorial candidate.
Justice Emeka Nwite, the lead judge then, held that INEC acted illegally by refusing to accept and publish Akpabio’s name after it was sent by APC, following which it ordered INEC to accept and publish Akpabio’s name as APC senatorial candidate for Akwa Ibom North/West senatorial district in 2023.
However, the appellate court has set aside the judgement.
A three-member panel of justices led by Justice Danlami Senchi ruled that Akpabio failed to file a proof of arguments within the time provided by the court rules.
The panel further held that Akpabio, being a presidential aspirant of the APC, could not participate in the valid primary of the party held on May 27 and monitored by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), which produced Udom Ekpoudom as a candidate.