A Former Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory and one of the aspirants in the April 11, 2015 governorship elections in Akwa Ibom State, John Akpanudoedehe, on Wednesday wrote to his supporters, announcing his decision to withdraw the case he filed against the candidacy of the All Progressives Congress, APC, candidate in the polls, Umana Umana.
Following the December 5, 2014 primaries, Mr. Umana had emerged the APC flag bearer. But, Mr. Akpanudoedehe had challenged his candidacy by asking the Federal High Court to declare that he was the rightful candidate who scored the lawful votes cast during the party’s congress.
Although Mr. Umana had gone ahead to contest against the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Udom Emmanuel, and lost, Mr. Akpanudoedehe continued with the case, till July 6, 2015, when Justice Evoh Chukwu struck it out for lack of diligent prosecution.
Dissatisfied, Mr. Akpanudoedehe challenged the ruling and requested to be re-listed for hearing.
But, the case had been pending in court throughout the sitting of the Elections tribunal over the petition filed by Mr. Umana against the election of Mr. Emmanuel as governor.
With the recent ruling of the Supreme Court setting aside the judgment of the Court of Appeal and confirming Mr. Emmanuel as the duly elected governor, Mr. Akpanudoedehe on Wednesday wrote to his supporters to inform them of his decision to discontinue the case.
“The events surrounding our party’s primary election and the gang up against my supporters and I represented the deepest and the lowest blow by man in our political life,” Mr. Akpanudoedehe said. “The opponent came, not to do politics, but to destroy us; to destroy our character and our lives. We thank God for everything.
“We are all witnesses to the Supreme Court ruling of Wednesday, February 3, 2016, which affirmed the election of Mr. Udom Emmanuel of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the Governor of Akwa Ibom.
“As a consequence of that ruling, I have consulted with my legal team and I have been informed (even though I also know it myself) that going ahead with the pre-election matter I instituted at the Federal High Court, Abuja, to right the wrongs of the said primary election will now amount to an academic exercise. Though, we can pursue the case to make a point, however, that point will be completely useless,” he stated.
Thanking the entire Akwa Ibom people, particularly his supporters for their steadfastness “in the face of blackmail, betrayal and backstabbing by a section of our party”, the former minister urged them to accept the Supreme Court verdict as final.
“We should accept this reality and move on. The only thing left for us now is the future. We have to harmonise and come together to rebuild the party, and re-strategize on how we can wrest power from the opposition party in the state in the nearest future,” he said.