Sen Akpabio’s Case Struck Out, Urged to Reciprocate Spirit of Sportsmanship

The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, Apo, Abuja on Friday struck out a case by Senator Godswill Akpabio, against the election of former Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Engr. Chris Ekpenyong.

The Independent National Electoeal Commission, INEC, had declared Ekpenyong as the winner of National Assembly election for Akwa Ibom
North-West Senatorial District.

Akpabio,a former Senate Minority leader filed a case in court with suit no: FCT\HC\M\2680\19, to seek an order compelling INEC to review the result.

But the presiding Judge, Justice Valentine Ashi on Friday dismissed the matter, following application by the Counsel to Akpabio, Mr.
Sunday Ameh (SAN), that the case being withdrawn forthwith.

Akpabio’s lawyer informed the court on Friday that his client had resolved to withdraw the application for judicial review.
Also speaking, the lawyer representing INEC, Tanimu Inuwa, told journalists that the court
lacks the jurisdiction to entertain the application since it is an election matter.

“When a person requests for the enforcement of his right through an order of mandamus, what it means is that once that request is granted, parties are to stay proceedings until that right has been enforced.

That’s what it means,” Mr Inuwa said.

Reacting, the senator-elect Ekpenyong commended his kinsman for taking the right decision to pull out from the case.

He said: “No man can challenge the divine mandate freely endorsed by the people of Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District.

“Akpabio should demonstrate the good spirit of sportsmanship by willingly accepting defeat in
good faith instead of overheating the polity by giving the people false impression of rigging
during the contest”.

“In 2007, even when he rigged the elections and won, I, as one of the contestants accepted defeat and congratulated him.

“In 2011, I had done everything to go for Senate but he tricked me to step down for another person, even when I and the former Minister of Petroleum, Atuekong Don Etiebet,
had knelt down to beg then President Goodluck Jonathan, to give him (Akpabio) soft landing to
go for a second term.

“When I did all of these, I was conscious of the fact that there must be one governor at a time
and that was his own time as designed by God.

“So this current mandate for the people of Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District has also been ordained by God for me to lead the people of
my zone and to show them leadership direction from the Red Chambers in the next four years.

“We are a highly Republican people. We don’t have what they called Dynasty in other places.

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