The Court of Appeal in Abuja has upheld the nomination of Obong Akan Udofia as governorship Candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Akwa Ibom State.
In a judgment on Thursday a three-member panel of the court, led by Justice Elfreda Williams-Daudu, allowed the appeal by Udofia and set aside the November 14, 2022 judgment by Justice Agatha Okeke of the Uyo division of the Federal High Court.
Justice Okeke had upheld a suit filed by a former presidential aide, Senator Ita Enang, nullifying the primary that produced Udofia and ordered the party to conduct a fresh primary within 14 days.
Justice Mohammed Idris, in the lead judgment, found that the judgment of the Federal High Court was given without jurisdiction.
Justice Idris held that the plaintiff in that case at the Federal High Court was without the requisite locus standi to have instituted the case.
The third member of the panel, Justice Danlami Senchi also agreed with the judgment.
The Court also granted Udofia the four reliefs in the appeal. The court requested that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) publishes his name as the APC candidate for the election.
The court held that the lower court erred in assuming jurisdiction contrary to Sections 97 and 98 of the Sheriffs and civil process Act. They further held that Akan Udofia’s appeal has merit and therefore ordered INEC to publish his name as the duly elected Governorship Candidate of APC in Akwa Ibom State.
The lower court had nullified Mr Udofia’s nomination and barred him from participating in a fresh primary.