The Supreme Court has restored former Akwa Ibom State Governor, Godwin Akpabio, as the senatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Akwa Ibom North Senatorial District.
The apex court voided and overturned the Court of Appeal judgment delivered on November 14, 2022 which voided his candidacy.
In a unanimous judgment delivered by Justice Ibrahim Saulawa, the apex court upheld the ruling of the Federal High Court in Abuja which in September last year, granted verdict in favour of Akpabio.
Justice Saulawa after reviewing the arguments canvassed by Akpabio said his appeal was meritorious and allowed.
In a lead judgment, Justice Ibrahim Saulawa held that the “appeal succeeds on merit and is allowed.”
The judgement was on an appeal filed by Akpabio, challenging the judgement of the Court of Appeal Abuja, which set aside his victory at the Federal High Court Abuja.
In arriving at the decision, the Supreme Court in a unanimous judgement said each of the 10 issues formulated by the appellant was resolved in his favour, and against the respondent.
The Supreme Court held that the lower court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the case, adding that whatever decision arrived at by the court amounted to nullity.
It would be recalled that the Court of Appeal, Abuja had on November 14, 2022, set aside the judgment of Federal High Court Abuja, removing Akpabio as the All Progressives Congress candidate for Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District.
A three-member panel of Justices led by Justice Danlami Senchi held that Akpabio failed to file a proof of arguments within the time provided by the rules.
The panel further ruled that Akpabio, having contested the presidential primary of the APC, could not participate in the valid primary of the party held on May 27 and monitored by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), which produced Udom Ekpoudom as a candidate.