Senator Godswill Akpabio of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP Akwa Ibom northwest), has emerged the minority leader of the senate.
Akpabio, a former Governor of Akwa Ibom State was nominated by the south-south caucus of the PDP in the senate.
His nomination, however, is against the standing rules of the senate, which exempts first-term senators from holding principal positions.
Last Wednesday, Gabriel Kolawole, justice of the federal high court, Abuja rejected an application seeking to stop Bukola Saraki, senate president, from the naming Akpabio as minority leader of the senate.
Alaye Pedro and Okechukwu Ibeh, both members of PDP, had filed an ex parte application challenging the party’s choice of Akpabio as senate minority leader. They contended that the possible emergence of Akpabio as senate minority leader would breach the senate standing orders exempting first-term senators from holding such a position. But the court struck out their application, paving way for Akpabio’s nomination on Monday.
The PDP, which lost the majority seat in the senate to the All Progressives Congress (APC) after the March general election, had zoned the position of senate minority leader to the south-south.