No reason was given for the withdrawal by the lawmaker. The trial judge Justice valentine Ashi of the FCT High Court confirmed this on Friday. He also explained that the order of stay issued last Friday was not to stop the Independent National Electoral Commissioner (INEC) from carrying out its function but to enable an applicant to exercise his rights. He further stated that he stayed action last week so that all parties in the suit can address the court on whether it had jurisdiction to entertain a post-election matter. Akpabio who was a former Senate Minority Leader while he was with the PDP, had vowed to challenge the results of the election. In an interview with Channels Television after the election, he said he strongly believed that there must have been something wrong with the collation of results. His rival, Dr Chris Ekpenyong was declared winner of the senatorial seat after polling 118,215 votes to defeat him with 83,158 votes. The senator-elect Ekpenyong commended his kinsman for taking the right decision to pull out from the case, saying “no man can challenge the divine mandate freely endorsed by the people of Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District”. Speaking on the matter on Friday, Ekpenyong urged Akpabio “to demonstrate the good spirit of sportsmanship by willingly accepting defeat in good faith instead of overheating the polity by giving the people false impression of rigging during the contest”. He recalled: “In 2007, even when he rigged the elections and won, I, as one of the contestants accepted defeat and congratulated him. “In 2011, I had done everything to go for Senate but he tricked me to step down for another person, even when I and the former Minister of Petroleum, Atuekong Don Etiebet, had knelt down to beg then President Goodluck Jonathan, to give him (Akpabio) soft landing to go for a second term. “When I did all of these, I was conscious of the fact that there must be one governor at a time and that was his own time as designed by God. “So this current mandate for the people of Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District has also been ordained by God for me to lead the people of my zone and to show them leadership direction from the Red Chambers in the next four years. “We are a highly Republican people. We don’t have what they called Dynasty in other places. “In Annang ethnic nationality, leadership must evolve for the dividends of democracy to spread across all the 10 Local Government Areas that constitute the Senatorial District. “Therefore, I am assuring the people that I will run for only one term of impactful and purposeful leadership that will ensure every facets of the Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District is touched by serious transformation and socio-economic development.”]]>
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