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Akpabio Cites ‘National Assignment’ As He Pulls Out Of Senatorial Rerun

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Godswill Akpabio, the immediate past governor of Akwa Ibom State and minister of Niger Delta Affairs, has declined interest in a rerun election for Akwa Ibom North-West senatorial zone.

In a letter he addressed to the national chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, Adams Oshiomhole and dated December 2, 2019, the Minority Leader in the 8th Senate cited his recent national assignment as a Minister for his decision not to participate in the rerun elections.

A three-man panel led by Justice S. Tanko Hussein, of the Court of Appeal had last November declared as invalid, the declaration of Christopher Ekpenyong as the winner of the February 23 National Assembly election and the senator representing Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District.

The Court of Appeal sitting in Calabar ordered a rerun in Essien Udim Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State where Godswill Akpabio lost to Christopher Ekpenyong.

The Court ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission to conduct a fresh election in Essien Udim Local Government Area within 90 days.

It held that “there was proof of irregularities and non-compliance with the Electoral Act” in the conduct of the election in the affected local government area and so, no one should have been declared the winner.

Akpabio in his letter appealed to the National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress, to write the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in line with Sections 33 and 35 of the Electoral Act, 2010, and submit a replacement to run in his place.

The minister of Niger Delta Affairs also requested the leadership of the APC to demand the redeployment of the Akwa Ibom Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, Mike Igini ahead of the rerun.

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