A’Ibom Guber Tussle: A’Court Reverses Nullification of APC Pry

A’Ibom Guber Tussle: A’Court Reverses Nullification of APC Pry

Alex Enumah in Abuja

The Court of Appeal, Abuja, yesterday reversed a judgment of a Federal High Court in Uyo, which nullified the primary election of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the selection of its governorship election in Akwa Ibom State.
The appellate court, in a unanimous decision delivered by Justice Mohammed Idris, voided the trial court’s decision on the grounds that the Federal High Court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the suit since it bordered on the internal issues of a political party.
Justice Agatha Okeke had on November 14 2022, nullified the primary election of the APC in Akwa Ibom State, on the grounds of alleged irregularities and non-compliance with the law.
Her judgment was in respect of a suit filed by a former Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on National Assembly, Senator Ita Enang, who cited breach of the electoral guidelines and prayed the court to void the pry election, which had produced Mr Akanimo Udofia.
After agreeing with the submission of the plaintiff, the court nullified the election and ordered the APC to conduct a fresh governorship primary within two weeks and barred Udofia from participating in the fresh primary.
Dissatisfied, the APC and Udofia approached the appellate court to set aside the judgment of the Federal High Court and affirmed the nomination of Udofia as the candidate of the APC in the March 11, 2023 governorship election in Akwa-Ibom State.
Delivering judgment yesterday, the appellate court held that the Federal High Court acted without jurisdiction, when it nullified the APC primary election.
In a unanimous decision, the court held that the primary election being an internal affairs of the APC ought not to have been adjudicated upon by the High Court.
Consequently, the appeal filed by APC was allowed for being meritorious while the arguments of Enang were dismissed for being unmeritorious.

Other Justices on the Appeal Court panel were Elfreda Williams-Dawodu, who presided and Danlami Senchi. 

Related Articles