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2023: Akpabio Wins In Court, Emerges APC’s Senatorial Candidate

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Former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has won in court following the lingering legal battle over his candidacy.

According to a report by The Punch, a Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to recognize Akpabio as the senatorial candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, for Akwa Ibom North West District ahead of the 2023 general elections.

The former Minister of Niger Delta has been having a lingering issue with INEC after the commission rejected his demand to be listed as APC senatorial candidate. Instead, INEC insisted that the APC candidate it knows was a former DIG of Police, Ekpo Udom (rtd) who took part in the first primary it conducted.

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Meanwhile, the Federal High Court in its latest ruling ordered the electoral umpire to accept and publish Akpabio’s name as APC senatorial candidate for Akwa Ibom North-West senatorial district.

The presiding Judge, Justice Emeka Nwite, ruled that INEC had acted illegally by refusing to accept and publish Akpabio’s name after it was sent by APC.
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It would be recalled that INEC had through its National Commissioner for Voter Education, Festus Okoye, stated that it would maintain the status quo from the time the case was before the court.

He added that the commission would decide its next move after the court has decided.

It is not clear if INEC would comply with this judgment that ordered it to recognize Akpabio as APC’s candidate or appeal it. Also, Akpabio’s rival can also file an appeal against this judgment.

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