Akpabio returns to N’assembly as Umahi wins Ebonyi senate seat
Former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, has been elected to represent Akwa Ibom North-west Senatorial District at the National Assembly.
Akpabio was declared the winner by Anthony Udoh, a returning officer of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on Monday.
The former minister, who contested on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), polled 115,401 votes to defeat Emmanuel Enoidem of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who scored 69,838 votes.
He was in the race for the party’s presidential ticket but dropped his bid for another candidate.
Prior to the APC presidential primary, Udom Ekpoudom, former Deputy Inspector General of police (DIG), won the party’s primary for the senatorial district.
A parallel primary was also conducted and won by Ekperikpe Ekpo, but was later cancelled over irregularities.
A rerun reportedly conducted on June 8 was said to have produced Akpabio as the winner of the exercise.
INEC, however, excluded the APC from its list of candidates published in June 2022.
The party and Akpabio approached the court to seek redress.
Delivering judgment in September 2022, Emeka Nwite, the trial judge, held that INEC contravened the law when it refused to accept and publish Akpabio’s name, despite the fact that the APC had listed him as its candidate.
Dissatisfied with the trial court’s decision, Ekpoudom went to the Court of Appeal.
The appeal court, in its judgment delivered in November 2022, quashed the judgment of the trial court and sacked Akpabio as the candidate of the party.
But in January, the Supreme Court overturned the decision of the appeal court and affirmed the election of Akpabio as the candidate for the Akwa Ibom north-west senatorial district.
In a related development, Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, has been declared the winner of the Ebonyi South Senatorial District election.
Augustine Egwu, the INEC returning officer, announced the result at Afikpo North LGA headquarters.
Umahi scored 28,378 votes to defeat Linus Okorie of the Labour Party (LP) who scored 25,496 votes, and Ifeanyi Eleje of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) who got 11,398 votes.