The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja, on Thursday, affirmed Akanimo Udofia as the Governorship Candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, for Akwa Ibom State in the March 11, 2023 election.
The three-man panel of the Court led by Justice Elfreda Oluwayemisi Williams-Dawodu JCA set aside the judgement of the lower Court and upheld the Appeals: Suit Nos: CS/C/371/2022
(APC v. Enang & 2 Ors) and CS/C/370/2022
(Udofia v. Enang & 2 Ors.).
The Appeal Court held that Akan Udofia is the duly nominated candidate of the APC for the 2023 Governorship election in Akwa Ibom State. The appellate court averred that the federal high court did not have jurisdiction over the case, having been filed out of time by the petitioner, Ita Enang.
Recall that the pre-election suit was filed by an aggrieved Governorship Aspirant, Ita Solomon Enang with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), APC and Udofia as 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants respectively.
Enang’s grouse as contained in his statement, through his counsel, Ntufam Mba Ukweni SAN is that the Governorship primary, which produced Mr Udofia, was done in outright contravention of the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022 as it was not monitored by INEC. He is also seeking the court to order for a re-conduct of the Primaries in line with party guidelines and the law.
Justice Agatha Anulika Okeke of the Uyo Federal High Court, in a November 2022 judgement, invalidated the Purported Primary and ordered a fresh one in 14 days, excluding Udofia.
Dissatisfied with the judgement, Udofia and APC approached the penultimate Court.