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APPEAL COURT HEARS SUIT TO UNSEAT AKPABIO JUNE 27

By NBF News
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Hearing in the appeal filed by a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirant in Akwa Ibom State, Frank Okon Daniel against the nomination of Governor Godswill Akpabio has been fixed for June 27, 2011 by the Court of Appeal.

Hearing was stalled on Monday as some pages in the appeal filed by the appellant were said to be ineligible.

The 3-man panel of judges made up of Justices Garba Mohammed, Regina Obiageli and Jimi Bada adjourned to enable the applicant do the correction before the new adjourned date.

Okon had gone to the trial court seeking the nullification of the alleged purported PDP re-run of January 15, 2011 by which Akpabio emerged as the PDP candidate for the April 16 governorship election.

Justice Abdu Kafarati dismissed Okon's suit on the ground that the January 9 primary was cancelled by the PDP and another one was held on January 15 based on his petition. Justice Kafarati said the Okon's suit had become an academic exercise by virtue of the re-run primary conducted by the PDP.

Okon, however, told the appellate court that the trial court erred in law by saying that his complaint against the governorship primary had been attended to by cancelling the said election and ordering a fresh primary.

Okon, through his lawyer, Mr. Taiwo Abe, also told the appellate court to hold that the trial court erred in law by dismissing his suit as academic and speculative.

The applicant asked the appellate court to allow his appeal because the alleged purported re-run primary in which Akpabio emerged as PDP candidate and contested Akwa-Ibom state governorship election on April 16 was a civil fraud carried out by the PDP against him.

The certificate of result of the primary held on January 15 was rendered illegal, invalid, null and void because it was signed by the former national chairman of PDP, Dr. Okwesilize Nwodo who was earlier removed by the party.

However, the PDP lawyer, Chief Olusola Oke and Governor Akpabio's lawyer, Paul Usoro (SAN) did not oppose Abe's application for adjournment.