From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The Abuja Federal High Court
has dismissed a suit filed against the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and the All Progressives Congress, APC, by a retired Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), Udom Udo Ekpoudom challenging the election that produced Godswill Akpabio as the candidate of the party for Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial district.
In the dismissed suit, Ekpoudom had through his counsel, Victor Odjeme, sought an order of court compelling the electoral body to accept him as the party’s candidate for the senatorial seat.
However, Justice Donatus
Okorowo dismissed the suit after upholding the preliminary objection by counsel to the APC, Umeh Kalu, SAN.
The court held that the failure to join Senator Godswill Akpabio as a party to the suit rendered the suit incompetent.
Justice Okorowo further held that the primaries that produced Udom Udo Ekpoudom was not authorized by the National Working Committee of the All Progressive Congress (APC) but rather by a dissident state chapter of the APC and therefore invalid.
The court held that any party primary organized by the state chapter of a political party is invalid. Udom Udo Ekpoudom was relying on an alleged party primary organized by a factional state chapter of APC.
The counsel for APC commended the court for erudite judgment and stated that the judgment was in tandem with past decisions of the Supreme Court on the issues raised in the suit.