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Akwa Ibom 2023: Udofia To Appeal Nullification Of APC Governorship Primary

The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom State, Obong Akan Udofia, has said he would appeal the judgement of Justice…

The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom State, Obong Akan Udofia, has said he would appeal the judgement of Justice A.A. Okeke that nullified his primary on Monday.

The Federal High Court sitting in Uyo, had disqualified Udofia as the APC governorship candidate in the 2023 governorship election.

The court ruled that he was never a member of APC.

In her judgment delivered on Monday, Justice Agatha Okeke ordered that a fresh election be conducted within 14 days from the day of this judgement.

The judgement barred Udofia from participating in the election.

However, Obong Akan Udofia Campaign Council in a statement signed by its Director General, Mr. Don Etim on Saturday in Abuja, described the judgement as a travesty of Justice.

He asserted that it is a gross violation and infringement of the constitutional right to Freedom of Association afforded Udofia under Section 40 of the 1999 Constitution, by denying him the rights and privileges available to him as a member of APC.

Don Etim explained that Udofia’s resignation was formally conveyed to the PDP via a letter dated May 1, 2022 and addressed to the Ward Executive Chairman of Mbiaso Ward 1 Nsit Ibom and Chairman of Akwa Ibom state chapter of PDP respectively.

He stated that Obong Akanimo Udofia did not take part, participate or, in any manner contest the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governorship Primaries Election in Akwa Ibom State held on 25th May 2022.

Açcording to the statement, on 12th of May 2022, the National Working Committee (NWC) of APC granted Udofia’s application for a waiver to contest the APC governorship primary election in the state in accordance with Article 31(3) (ii) of the APC Constitution as amended.

The statement further noted that Akan Udofia was duly screened and cleared to contest the primaries.

The statement reads, “In view of the judgement of the Federal High Court in Uyo delivered on Monday 14th November 2022, we are guided by our commitment to the Rule of law, the Constitution of our Party and the abiding support and goodwill of our Party members and teeming supporters to make this statement to clarify the issues and to set out our direction in a clear manner.

“Honourable Justice A.A. Okeke in her judgement nullified the Akwa Ibom APC primaries and held that our Candidate, Obong Akanimo Udofia was not qualified to contest the Gubernatorial Primaries of our Party because he is not a member of the APC..

“Against the backdrop of the judgement, it is important to state the following facts:

“There is preponderance of evidence showing that Akan Udofia duly resigned his membership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Akwa Ibom State. His Resignation was formally conveyed to the PDP via a letter dated 1st of May 2022 and addressed to the Ward Executive Chairman of Mbiaso Ward 1 Nsit Ibom and Chairman of Akwa Ibom state chapter of PDP respectively.

“Consequently, we unequivocally wish to state that Obong Akanimo Udofia did NOT take part, participate or, in any manner howsoever, contest the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP Governorship Primaries Election in Akwa Ibom State held on 25th May 2022.

‌”To set the record straight, Obong Akan Udofia is a Card Carrying member of the All Progressives Congress (APC). He has his full name and particulars duly registered in the Party’s Ward Register for Mbiaso Ward 1, Nsit Ibom LGA of Akwa Ibom State.

“On 12th of May 2022, the National Working Committee (NWC) of APC graciously granted Akan Udofia’s application for a Waiver to contest the APC Governorship Primary Election in Akwa Ibom state in accordance with Article 31(3) (ii) of the APC Constitution (as Amended 2002).

“Subsequently, Akan Udofia was duly screened and cleared to contest the Akwa Ibom Governorship Primaries by the Screening Committee of the APC. A clear indication that he had met the statutory requirement of the Party for participation in its Primaries.

“The Governorship Primaries of our great Party, APC, indeed held on Thursday, May 26th 2022 at the State Secretariat of our Party in Ekpo Obot Street Uyo. The exercise was validly conducted by the APC Governorship Primary Election Committee for Akwa Ibom State led by Omoba Tunde Ajibulu as Chairman with Ms Evelyn Okere as Secretary.

“Obong Akan Udofia emerged the clear winner of that Primaries. It is therefore shocking for anyone to claim that he is not a member of APC. This Judgement is a gross violation and infringement of the constitutional right to freedom of Association afforded Akan Udofia under S. 40 of the 1999 Constitution by denying him the rights and privileges available to him as a member of a Political party, the All Progressives Congress(APC).”