Supreme Court restores Akpabio as Akwa Ibom APC senatorial candidate
Orders INEC To Recognise Mohammed Jega As Kebbi Reps Candidate
The Supreme Court has declared former Akwa-Ibom governor and former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, as the authentic candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the February 25 National Assembly election.
The apex court in a unanimous judgment yesterday delivered by Justice Ibrahim Saulawa, returned Akpabio as candidate in the forthcoming election shortly after it set aside the judgment of the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal, which had sacked Akpabio as candidate of the APC in the said election.
According to the apex court, the lower court erred in law when it assumed jurisdiction in the internal matters of a political party. The Supreme Court therefore set aside the judgment of the Court of Appeal and upheld the judgment of Justice Donatus Okorowo, which held that Akpabio was lawfully nominated by his party.
The Supreme Court also yesterday laid to rest the long drawn legal battle on the authenticity of candidate for Jega-Aliero-Gwandu Federal Constituency of Kebbi State in the forthcoming general election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The Apex Court voided and dismissed the nomination of one Kabir Labbo Jega, whose name was submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) by the APC as its candidate.
In a judgment prepared by Justice Uwani Musa Abba-Aji, the Supreme Court dismissed the suit instituted by the party to support the nomination of the unlawful candidate.
The apex court, while dismissing APC’s appeal, restored one Mohammed Umar Jega as the lawful and authentic candidate that should be recognised by the APC and INEC.
The upholding of Umar Jega’s nomination by the court was predicated on the ground that he emerged winner of the May 27, 2022, primary election of the party conducted in accordance with the provisions of the law by the National Working Committee (NWC) of the APC.
The court threw out the purported nomination and submission of the name of Labbo Jega on the ground that he emerged winner from an unlawful primary election conduct by the State Working Committee (SWC) of the party.
The court maintained that by the provisions of the law, only the NWC of political parties are empowered to conduct primary elections for the purpose of nominating candidates for elections.
The judgment of the Court of Appeal, which had earlier been delivered against APC in favour of Mohammed Umar Jega, was affirmed. However, the Supreme Court did not award cost against the APC.