Supreme Court upholds Akpabio’s election

Former Governor Godswill Akpabio

The Supreme Court on Friday confirmed Godswill Akpabio as the validly-elected governor of Akwa Ibom State, in a unanimous decision that brought to a close a four-year legal tussle to unseat him.

The court ruled that Mr. Akpabio was the suitable candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, a claim that had for years been challenged by Frank Okon, who also contested the party’s ticket in April 2011.

Mr. Okon had asked the court to nullify Mr. Akpabio’s election because he (Okon) and his supporters were not availed the information on the scheduled primaries after the cancellation of the previous exercise.

Mr. Okon’s argument was upheld at the level of the Court of Appeal.

But, in a unanimous judgment delivered Friday by Justice Bode-Rhodes Vivour, on behalf of Justice John Fabiyi, and six other Justices, the Supreme Court set aside the ruling of the Appeal Court in favour of Mr. Okon and restored the judgment of the High Court on the matter.

The High Court had ruled that Mr. Okon was not qualified to contest the outcome of the election in the first place, having admitted in his affidavit before the court that he and his supporters were not allowed to participate in the primaries.


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