Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission to recognise the former Minister of Niger Delta, Godswill Akpabio, as an All Progressives Congress Senatorial candidate.
The court ordered the electoral umpire to accept and publish Akpabio’s name as APC senatorial candidate for Akwa Ibom North/West senatorial district in 2023.
In a judgment on Thursday, Justice Emeka Nwite held that INEC acted illegally by refusing to accept and publish Akpabio’s name after it was sent by APC.
GbaramatuVoice had on August 9, 2022, reported that INEC denied recognising Akpabio and Senate President Ahmad Lawan as APC senatorial candidates.
Both Lawan and Akpabio had contested the APC Presidential primaries.
However, after losing, both of them were listed as senatorial candidates by the APC, but INEC refused to recognise them.
In the statement signed by INEC National Commissioner, Festus Okoye, the commission said the matter was still in court and it would maintain the status quo.
“For the record, the commission has not recognised any of the two personalities as a senatorial candidate.
“We call for responsible reportage as against the unwarranted attack on the commission and its officials over a matter than can be easily fact-checked,” the statement read.
The commission said a certified true copy of Form 9C was uploaded by the APC and received by the Commission on June 17, 2022 when the nomination portal closed was presented.
It explained that the Form EC9 submission of names of candidates by political parties is the form uploaded by parties on the INEC nomination portal.
“The forms of the two personalities in question were not published by the commission. The decision of the commission triggered legal actions which are still ongoing. It therefore defies logic and common sense to go around and submit doctored documents purportedly recognising the duo as candidates when the matter is clearly sub-judice,” it said.