Senate tussle: Ex-DIG, Ekpoudom, to appeal adverse judgments
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A former Deputy Inspector General of Police and senatorial aspirant for the Akwa Ibom North West (Ikot Ekpene) district, Udom Ekpoudom, has said that he would appeal the two judgments which declared Senator Godswill Akpabio, as the authentic candidate for the senatorial seat.
Recall that the former DIG had earlier been declared the winner of the party’s primary conducted on May 28, 2022, by the Independent National Electoral Commission in the state.
But a re-run primary conducted on June 9, 2022, at the Godswill Akpabio Empowerment Centre, Ikot Ekpene, declared the former minister of Niger Delta Affairs as the candidate for the senatorial seat, pushing the retired DIG, to challenge Akpabio’s declaration in court.
However, the Federal High Court presided by Justice Emeka Nwite, in Abuja, on September 15, 2022 dismissed the lawsuit against INEC and APC for lacking in merit. This was followed by a similar one presided by Donatus Okorowo’s judgement of September 23, 2022.
The Courts held that the primary which produced Ekpoudom and on which he relied on to actualize his ambition was not a valid primary of the APC.
The APC had maintained that the immediate past Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, was its candidate for the Senatorial District which has been affirmed by the judgment.
But a statement by the Director-general of Ekpoudum campaign organization, Hon Uwem Udoma, titled, “Judgement on Akwa Ibom North West APC Senatorial ticket: Our Position” made available to our correspondent on Sunday said all constitutional means would be explored to retrieve the mandate which had earlier been given to Ekpoudom by his people during the primary.
The statement added, “Team Ekpoudom is aware of the two judgments of the Federal High Court, Abuja, one mandating INEC, to include the name of Senator Godswill Akpabio as the APC candidate for the February 25, 2023 Senatorial election, and the second dismissing the suit filed by Rtd DIG Udom Ekpoudom.
“In accordance with the law, we have instructed our legal team to promptly Appeal both Justice Emeka Nwite’s judgement (FHC/ABJ/CS/1011/2022) of September 15, 2022 and Justice Donatus Okorowo’s judgement (FHC/ABJ/CS/1000/2022) of September 23, 2022.
“Consequently, we hereby urge all members of the Campaign Organization and APC supporters in the Senatorial District to remain calm and resolute as notwithstanding this “temporal setback”, we shall explore all legal and constitutional means to ensure that the mandate entrusted to DIG Udom Ekpoudom (retd.), is legally protected.
“We want to assure our teaming supporters that we are determined to legally challenge Senator Akpabio up to the final level not minding his boastful rantings against the people of Abak federal constituency.
“Most importantly, we hereby assure our teaming APC supporters and indeed the good people of Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District, that come 2023, Abak Federal Constituency will produce the next Senator.”