The court of appeal Abuja Division yesterday upheld the election of the Senate Minority Leader Chief GodswillAkpabio as senator representing AkwaIbom North-West Senatorial District of Akwa Ibom State.
In a unanimous judgment delivered by Justice MoshoodOredola, the appellate court dismissed the appeal case against Akpabio’s election for lacking in merit and upheld the decision of the lower tribunal which had earlier endorsed the election.
Justice Oredola in the judgment that lasted over one hour said the although there was an error in one of the nomination papers of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which indicated that Senator Akpabio stood for election for AkwaIbom North-East, the mistake was however successful corrected in all other documents.
The 3-man panel of justice also held that the oral evidence of appellants witness, that of the People’s Democratic Party and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) successfully rebutted the case of non-qualification alleged by the appellant.
The appellate court also said that Senator Akpabio met the requirements of section 65 (2) of the 1999 constitution which clearly states that a person can only contest an election if he is a member of a political party and is sponsored by that political party.
The court also held that evidence showed that there was no other candidate for AkwaIbom North-West for the People’s Democratic Party and as such it was clear that nobody was deceived as to the candidature of Senator Akpabio.
“From the totality of the evidence placed before the court it is evidently clear that the error in one of the nomination papers which contained AkwaIbom North-East for Akpabio instead of AkwaIbom North-West has been clearly and satisfactorily explained to the court without any ambiguity”.
“It must be stated here that there could be mistake of fact and mistake of law and where there is remedy to be applied with law, the court must not hesitate to use appropriate law to resolve such mistake to the satisfaction of both parties”.
“In the instant case, the Appellant made a case in the error contained in one of the nomination papers and the Respondents especially Senator Akpabio and his party, PDP successfully proved to the court beyond reasonable doubt that an error that can be corrected in law was made and the error was successfully corrected with oral and other available documentary evidence to prove that the error was made in a good faith”.
“The electorate that trooped out to vote on March 28, 2015 to choose the leader of their choice to serve them in the senate must not be denied the benefits of their efforts simply because a mistake was made in one of the nomination papers”, Justice Oredola said.

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