The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom state may be sliding into a fresh crisis as a chieftain of the party and former Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT]), Sen. John Akpan-Udoedehe renewed his legal battle at a Federal High Court (FHC) sitting in Abuja where he is challenging the emergence of Umana Okon Umana as the governorship candidate of the party in the April 11, 2015 election.
Udoedehe legal challenge to Umana’s candidacy is coming within two months to the re-scheduled governorship election in Akwa State against Governor Emmanuel Udom of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Although the case was filed since January 2015, it was wrongfully dismissed and struck out on July 6 last year when it was actually fixed for July 8 for hearing by Justice Evoh Chukwu following misinformation by the court’s registrar.
The Counsel to the plaintiff, Mahmud Magaji (SAN) went to Court on the fixed date only to be told that Justice Chukwu had called the case on July 6, 2015 and dismissed it based on lack of diligent prosecution.
However, Udoedeha through his Counsel approached the court on Wednesday with an application asking for the re-listing of the suit.
The plaintiff had following the December 5, 2014 primaries, which saw Umana emerge as the party’s flagbearer, went to court seeking a declaration that he was the rightful candidate who scored the lawful votes cast during the party’s congress.
His prayers has however received a boost as both the state elections Tribunal, which sat in Abuja and the Court of Appeal, had ruled that elections were not properly conducted and directed the Independent National Electoral Commission [INEC] to conduct a fresh election in the state.
When the matter came up for hearing yesterday, counsel to the plaintiff, Magaji informed the court that he has filed an application for extension of time to re-list the suit.
However, counsel to Umana, Victor Iyanma said he has just been served in court and needed adequate time to respond to the application.
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