The Federal High Court sitting in Uyo, has nullified the election of Akanimo Udofia as the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom State.
The judge, Agatha Okeke, ordered the APC to conduct a fresh governorship primary within 14 days.
The case was instituted by a former senator, Ita Enang, who claimed that he was the validly elected candidate of the APC in Akwa Ibom.
In a judgment delivered on Monday, Justice Okeke agreed with Mr Enang’s argument, and ruled that Mr Udofia was not a member of the APC having not participated in all the stages of the process of electing a governorship candidate of the party.
Mr Udofia, a successful entrepreneur, was a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and had bought the PDP nomination forms to contest the party governorship primary in Akwa Ibom before he defected to the APC.
He got the APC governorship ticket in the state with the influence of the former minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, to the consternation of many of the party members and supporters.
Justice Okeke ruled that Mr Udofia did not satisfy the provision of the electoral laws which stipulates that he ought to have been a member of the APC for at least 30 days to the nomination, and that moreover the waiver Mr Udofia allegedly got from the APC was not signed by “any known persons”.
The court ordered that Mr Udofia be excluded from a fresh governorship primary of the APC in Akwa Ibom.