The Supreme Court Tuesday in Abuja, upheld the nomination of Obong Akan Udofia as the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress(APC) in Akwa Ibom State.
In a unanimous judgment delivered by Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun in the suit marked SC/CV/158/2023, the apex court dismissed Senator Ita Enang’s appeal against the decision of the Abuja division of the Court of Appeal, which had on January 19, 2023, set aside the judgment of a trial court that sacked Udofia.
The three-man panel in its judgment voided the decision of the Federal High Court, Uyo, on the grounds that it lacked jurisdiction to entertain the suit brought by Enang on the grounds that issues relating to internal affairs of political parties are outside the jurisdiction of the courts.
Dissatisfied, Enang approached the appellate court to upturn the judgment of the appellate court and reinstate the judgment of the Federal High Court.
However, the apex court dismissed Enang’s appeal on the grounds that the lower court was right in holding that issues relating to internal affairs of political parties are outside the jurisdiction of courts.
Justice Kekere-Ekun subsequently dismissed the appeal for lacking in merit.
The APC had declared Udofia as winner of its governorship primary having won majority of votes cast at the polls.
However, dissatisfied Enang approached the Federal High Court to void the nomination of Udofia on grounds of alleged irregularities, alleging in addition that Udofia was not qualified to contest the APC’s primary having participated in the governorship primary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) where he lost out.
In its judgment, the trial court agreed with Enang and voided the primary that produced Udofia and ordered a fresh election to be done within 14 days excluding Udofia’s participation.
However, the court of appeal voided the judgment of the trial court on grounds that it lacked jurisdiction to entertain the suit.