Hon. Justice Emeka Nwite, of the Federal High Court 8 in Abuja, (Vacation Court), on Thursday, declared former Minister, Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, the authentic candidate of the All Progressives’Congress ( APC), for Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District.
It also ordered the electoral umpire to immediately, publish the names and particulars of Senator Akpabio as the authentic candidate of the APC for the Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District, saying the INEC lacked the power to disqualify Akpabio, having emerged from a validly held primary of his party
Delivering a landmark judgement, Justice Nwite, noted that “The defendant couldn’t have picked nor choose for the Plaintiff whose name should be sent or published”
The court also held that “the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), can’t legitimize an illegal enterprise noting that The APC was in full compliance and has its candidate for Akwa Ibom North West District”
According to Justice Nwite, “INEC should not create a new criteria for qualification of candidates and cannot unilaterally pronounce an election invalid. It is for the court to do so not INEC. No law empowers INEC to reject a candidate nominated by a political party.
INEC isn’t an aspirant. INEC isn’t NWC of a party “
The court also declared that “the decision not to monitor a valid primary election held on June 9, 2022 is unlawful and the plaintiff has never been disqualified by a court. INEC therefore, lacks the power to disqualify Akpabio.”
Chief Press Secretary To Senator Godswill Akpabio.