JUST IN: Akpabio Withdraws Court Case Challenging Election Defeat

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Former Senate minority leader, Godswill Akpabio, has withdrawn a case he filed in court challenging his Senate reelection loss.

Mr Akpabio’s lawyer, Sunday Ameh, announced the withdrawal in court in Abuja on Friday. He did not give reasons for his decision.

Mr Akpabio filed the case despite Nigeria’s legal provision that Senatorial election disputes should be decided in the first instance by an election tribunal. Lawyers say conventional courts lack jurisdiction to hear such cases.

Regardless, the judge of the Federal Capital Territory High Court granted Mr Akpabio’s request to restrain parties involved in the case.

On Friday, the judge, Valentine Ashi, denied restraining the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from issuing certificate of return to the Peoples Democratic Party candidate, Chris Ekpenyong, in the February 23 elections.

Mr Akpabio’s lawyer informed the court on Friday that his client had resolved to withdraw the application for judicial review.

The lawyer representing the INEC, Tanimu Inuwa, told journalists that the court lacks the jurisdiction to entertain the application since it is an election matter.

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