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Court dismisses suit challenging Akpabio’s nomination as APC candidate in Akwa Ibom

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Justice Donatus Okorowo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Friday, dismissed the suit filed by a retired Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Udom Ekpoudom, challenging the failure of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to submit his name as the party’s candidate in the Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District for the 2023 general elections.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) listed the former Minister of Niger Delta, Godswill Akpabio, as APC’s candidate in the district on Tuesday.

Ekpoudom had earlier won the party’s primary election held in Akwa Ibom North-West in May.

After he refused entreaties to step down for the ex-minister who also vied for the APC presidential ticket in June, the party conducted a rerun primary election in the district.

In the election held on June 8, Akapbio secured the party’s ticket after polling 478 votes to defeat Ekpoudom who got three votes.

The former police officer later challenged the process in court.

Akpabio and APC were listed as respondents in the suit.

Justice Emeka Nwite of the same court had on September 15 ordered the INEC to accept and publish Akpabio’s name as the APC candidate in the zone.

READ ALSO: Akwa Ibom APC insists on fielding Akpabio for 2023 senatorial race

In the application, Ekpoudem said he duly participated in the May 27 election and monitored by INEC in line with the 2023 election timetable and APC guidelines.

He urged the court to recognise him as the party’s duly elected candidate in Akwa Ibom North-West.

In his ruling on Friday, Justice Okorowo held that the plaintiff’s action was not justiciable, adding that the suit was incompetent.

He said the court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the suit because it bordered on the internal affairs of a party.

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