The Supreme Court has affirmed Akanimo Udofia as the authentic governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom State, as it dismissed the suit filed by Senator Ita Enang seeking to nullify the primary that produced Udofia.
Delivering judgment, Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun upheld the decision of the Court of Appeal Abuja, which held that the Federal High Court in Uyo acted without jurisdiction when it nullified the APC’s primary.
The appellate court had upheld the primary that produced Udofia as the flag bearer of the party.
Enang had prayed the court to declare him as the authentic governorship candidate of the party on the basis that Udofia was not an APC member as of May 26, 2022 when the party conducted the governorship primary.
His application originated from the decision of a Federal High Court in Uyo which had on 14 November 2022 nullified the election of Udofia as the APC governorship candidate for the state.
Dissatisfied with the judgment, Udofia lodged an appeal at the Court of Appeal in Abuja. The appellate court on 19 January set aside the judgment of the lower court and restored him as the APC candidate.
The appellate court held that the Federal High Court in Uyo wrongly assumed jurisdiction to entertain the matter contrary to Sections 97 and 98 of the Electoral Act.
Dissatisfied with the decision of the appellate court, Enang therefore approached the Supreme Court challenging the outcome.
The apex court, however, dismissed Enang’s suit on grounds that the trial court had no jurisdiction to question the validity of the waiver granted to Udofia to participate in the primaries, being an internal affair of the party.