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Relief At Last As Supreme Court Okays Akpabio's Election

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BEVERLY HILLS, March 27, (THEWILL) – Finally, Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State can now heave a sigh of relief as a legal burden he has been carrying since 2011 over his re-election as governor has been removed.

On Friday, the Supreme Court affirmed his election as the authentic candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2011 Akwa Ibom governorship election as it dismissed the appeal brought by another PDP governorship aspirant, Frank Okon Daniel, who challenged Akpabio's candidacy .

In his lead judgement on Friday, Justice Bode Rhodes- Vivour who led other Justices of the apex court held that the appellant lacked the locus standi to challenge the primary election that produced Akpabio as the governorship candidate.

Justice Rhodes-Vivour also held that the appellant was inconsistent in his claims before the court on the ground that he claimed to have been excluded in the primary election and at the same time claimed he was the candidate of the party.

The Supreme Court held that in line with Section 8 (9 ) of the Electoral Act 2010, Okon could not challenge the election since he did not participate in the primary election, and it was wrong for the appellant to have claimed in his originating summon that he was the authentic candidate knowing full well that he did not participate in any primary election.

The court also dismissed Okon's claim that the primary election was marred with irregularities on the ground that he was not there.

It would be recalled that Okon had dragged Akpabio before the Abuja Federal High Court seeking to nullify his election in the January 15 party primary and April 26, 2011 general elections.‎

The appellant had urged the court to declare him as the winner of the re-run of January 15, 2011 Akwa Ibom PDP gubernatorial primary

In his submission, Okon argued that he was the candidate of the PDP in the election, having been screened and cleared to participate in the said election but was denied the ticket.