By our Correspondent
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has published on its official verified website, Mr. Uduak Udoh as the Governorship Candidate of the Labour Party for Akwa Ibom state in March 18, 2023 rescheduled Gubernatorial election. Also published is his Deputy Governorship Candidate, Mr. Charles Ebongho.
The enlistment of the Labour Party Guber hopeful and his Deputy by INEC is in obedience to an order of a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja which had ordered for recognition and publication of Uduak Udoh’s name and others as candidates of the party.
Recall that the court in an order dated February 10, 2023 ordered the electoral umpire to publish Uduak Udoh’s name as a substitute Governorship Candidate of the Labour Party (LP) affirming that his emergence was in compliance with the law.
The court had also made an order compelling INEC to recognize and publish the names of Samuel Edet Moses and Abasiama Bassey Essien-Ette as LP flag bearers for the forthcoming State House of Assembly Elections in Akwa Ibom state.
The Order of Mandamus is sequel to a Motion on Notice filed in a suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/61/2023 brought before the court by Labour Party, Uduakobong Peter Udoh, Samuel Edet Moses and Abasiama Bassey Essien-Ette as 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Applicants, respectively. The suit has Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as Respondent.
Upon hearing Counsel to the Applicants; Moses Usoh-Abia, Esq, and A.J. Okolo, Esq, who prayed the court to grant the Applicants’ reliefs as sought and Counsel to the respondent; Hassan Aminu who had urged the court to decline jurisdiction on ground of the suit lacking in merit, the Presiding Judge; Hon Justice D. U. Okorowo ordered to wit:
“An order is hereby made compelling the Respondent to recognize the 2nd Applicant as the substitute Candidate of the 1st Applicant in the forthcoming Gubernatorial Election set to hold on the 11th (now 18th) March, 2023 pursuant to section 33 of the Electoral Act 2022 (as amended) the 2nd Applicants having complied with the law.
An order is hereby made compelling the Respondent to recognize 3rd and 4th Applicants as the substitute Candidate of the 1st Applicant in the forthcoming House of Assembly Election set to hold on the 11th (now 18th) March, 2023 pursuant to section 33 of the Electoral Act 2022 (as amended) the 2nd Applicant having complied with the law.
An order is hereby made directing the Respondent to recognize and publish the names of 2nd, 3rd and 4th Applicants as the flag bearers of 1st Applicant of the imminent Gubernatorial and House of Assembly Election of Akwa Ibom state”