Alex Enumah in Abuja
The Federal High Court, Abuja, yesterday, ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to list the name of Akanimo Udofia as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the governorship election.
The order came a day after the electoral umpire shifted by one week, the governorship and state houses of assembly’s election initially slated for March 11.
Udofia and former presidential aide, Senator Ita Enang, had been in long legal battle over who was the authentic candidate of the APC in the Akwa-Ibom Governorship race.
Although the battle was rested on Tuesday, with the apex court dismissing Enang’s appeal against the judgment of the Abuja division of the Court of Appeal, which nullified the judgment of a Federal High Court that sacked Udofia as candidate of the APC, due to the absence of a consequential order, Udofia approached the trial court for an order of mandamus compelling INEC to list him as the authentic candidate of the APC for the now March 18 governorship election in Akwa-Ibom.
The motion for order of mandamus, with suit number was argued by his lawyer, Chief Emeka Etiaba, SAN, stated that the apex court’s decision which upheld the process through which Udofia emerged as candidate was not enough, hence the need for the court to direct INEC to list his client as a candidate in the Akwa-Ibom governorship election having been declared as lawfully nominated by his party.
Delivering judgment, Justice James Omotosho, held that the case of the plaintiff was justiciable and subsequently granted the prayers and ordered INEC to list Udofia as candidate of the APC in Akwa-Ibom governorship election.