By Ezra Ukanwa, Abuja
Coalition for regional development and good governance has applauded the ruling of the Federal High Court upholding Godswill Akpabio’s name as the All Progressives Congress, APC, senatorial candidate for Akwa Ibom North/West senatorial district in 2023.
They, however, urged the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to obey the ruling of the Federal High Court order to accept and publish Godswill Akpabio’s name as the candidate of the Akwa Ibom North/West Senatorial District candidate of APC.
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.
VANGUARD had reported that INEC denied recognising Akpabio and Senate President Ahmad Lawan as APC senatorial candidates.
But, in his ruling on Thursday, the judge found that Akpabio was validly nominated as the Akwa–Ibom North/West Senatorial District candidate of the APC from the primary conducted by the party’s National Working Committee on June 9, 2022.
It was on this premise that the group called on the INEC chairman, professor Mahmoud Yakubu, to act fast and avoid any action that may bring the commission’s name to the mud, ahead of the 2023 polls.
The call was made by the Executive Director of coalition for regional development and good governance, Attahiru Shiitu Bashir, in a statement made available to journalists, in Abuja.
He said: “We want to call on the Independent National Electoral Commission and Chairman of the Commission to as a matter of urgency obey the ruling of the court.
“Because this matter has lingered in court for some time now, and the court ruling has been delivered in favour of Godswill Akpabio to be the senatorial candidate of the All Progressive Congress. So, it is on this note that we are calling INEC to respect court ruling and ensure that Akpabio is duly registered, published and accepted as the APC candidate for the Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District.”