21st January, 2023
Godswill Akpabio vowed to continue to do his best for the people after he was declared by the Supreme Court as the validly nominated candidate for the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Akwa-Ibom North-West senatorial seat election on 25 February.
APC had challenged the decision of the Court of Appeal, Abuja, which sacked Akpabio as its candidate.
The appellate court had on 14 November 2022 ordered INEC to recognise Udom Ekpoudom, a retired deputy inspector general of police, as the authentic candidate of the party.
Delivering the unanimous judgement of its five-member panel led by Kudirat Kekere-Ekun on Friday, the Supreme Court held that the Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal were wrong to have assumed jurisdiction in the suit because the issue of candidate nomination lies squarely with political parties.
Ibrahim Saulawa, a member of the Supreme Court’s five-member panel who read the lead judgement, held that the Court of Appeal, Abuja, erred when it ordered Mr Akpabio’s substitution with Mr Ekpoudom as APC’s flagbearer when the former was not a party before it.
“The judgement of the Court (of Appeal) below is hereby set aside,” Mr Saulawa said.
Reacting to the victory on Saturday, Akpabio, who is a former governor of Akwa-Ibom State and ex-minister of Niger Delta Affairs, said;
“To God be the glory great things he hath done. So loved He the world that He gave us His Son, who yielded His life an atonement for sin and opened the life gate that all may go in. Praise the Lord, Praise Lord, let the earth hear His voice, Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord let the people rejoice. Oh come to the Father through Jesus the Son and give Him the glory great things He hath done”.
“On Friday, 20th January 2023, the Supreme Court of Nigeria, formally declared me the authentic and duly elected candidate of our great party; the All Progressives Congress ( APC) for Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District.
“I give all glory to God Almighty who made this victory possible. I thank my Lord Justices of the Supreme Court for their diligence and faultless verdict.
“I thank my family, friends, supporters and party members for their unsolicited support.
“I will continue to do my best for our people. It is time for campaign and that is what we would be doing as from today for the victory of our party next month.”