Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court Abuja has ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to accept and publish the name of Godswill Akpabio, as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District in next year’s election.
Delivering Judgement, Justice Nwite held that INEC acted illegally for refusing to accept and publish Akpabio’s name even when it was sent to it by the APC as its candidate.
Justice Nwite added that Akpabio was validly nominated as the Akwa – Ibom Northwest Senatorial District candidate of the APC from the primary conducted by the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) on June 9, 2022.
He said INEC is bound by the provisions of Section 29 (3) of the Electoral Act to publish only the personal particulars of the candidate of the first plaintiff for the Akwa-Iborn Northwest Senatorial District elections in the person of the second plaintiff (Akpabio) as received from the first plaintiff.
The judge also declared that INEC cannot publish any other name or particulars of any other candidate as candidate of the APC for the Akwa – lbom North/West Senatorial District elections, except as nominated, submitted and received from the APC
He further ordered INEC to publish the name and particulars of Akpabio as the candidate of the APC for the Akwa-Iborn North/West Senatorial District in the 2023 general elections as nominated and submitted to it by the APC.