The Court of Appeal Abuja Division, on Wednesday, granted the prayers of Senator Godswill Akpabio to appeal the judgement of the Court which had sacked him as the senatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress APC, for Akwa Ibom North west senatorial district in 2023 election.
This is contained in a statement signed by Mr. Jackson Udom, Chief Press Secretary to Senator Akpabio, made available to newsmen yesterday in Uyo.
Udom recalled that the Appeal Court, Abuja had on Monday November 14, 2022 ordered that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should delete Akpabio’s name as the duly elected candidate for the Senate seat and replace his name with that of Deputy Inspector General of Police, DIG Udom Ekpoudom (Rtd).
He added: “It would be recalled that the Court on Monday November 14, 2022 in the Appeal brought by Ekpoudom against the APC and INEC had held that Ekpoudom was the candidate of the APC for Ikot Ekpene(Akwa Ibom North West) Senatorial District in the 2023 elections.
“Akpabio’s Counsels Umeh Kalu,( SAN) and Berth Igwilo(SAN) had applied for leave for Akpabio to be joined in the Appeal because he was not a party in the proceedings, to enable him approach the Supreme court for reprieve.
“Ruling on the Motion for Leave after hearing Mr Umeh Kalu, Berth Igwilo, the three- man Panel of the Justices of the Court of Appeal, led by Hon. Justice U.A.Ogakwu, unanimously granted Akpabio’s prayers and held that it was satisfied that the applicant had deposed to cogent issues in his affidavit and further affidavits to warrant the grant of Leave to appeal the judgement of the Court of Appeal.
“The Court further held that since Senator Godswill Akpabio’s name had earlier been forwarded to INEC as the Candidate of the APC, it was imperative to allow him appeal the judgement of the Court delivered in his absence.
“Commenting on the ruling, Umeh Kalu, SAN commended the Justices for their sound reasoning in the judgment saying, “you cannot shave a persons head in his absence. By this ruling, Akpabio is expected to approach the Supreme Court before the end of the week”