Friday, May 24, 2024

 

Appeal Court Affirms Umo Eno As Akwa Ibom’s Duly Elected Governor

Must Read

Interswitch Sues Access, UBA, Zenith, GTbank, 50 Other Banks Over N3.3bn Lost To Hackers

One of the Nigeria payment platforms, Interswitch Limited, is currently battling to recover  a whooping sum of N33, 792,...

Banire, Etomi Task Technocrats In Public Offices On Probity, Accountability

 Muiz Banire A former Chairman of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), Dr. Muiz Banire (SAN) has called on...

Abiodun Douses Tension Over  BTA Differentials For Ogun Muslim Pilgrims

Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, has doused the  palpable tension among  Ogun State Muslim  Pilgrims by ameliorating  the...

 

The Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos yesterday upheld the March 18 Akwa Ibom State governorship election of Umo Eno of the People’s Democratic party.

The Appellate Court in its judgement dismissed three separate appeals, filed against the Governor.

In affirming the September 28 judgments of the election petition tribunal, the three member panel of Justices headed by Festus obande dismissed the appeal brought
by the governorship candidate of the Young Progressives Party (YPP), Bassey Albert Akpan, and his party against the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Governor Eno, and the People’s Democratic Party, PDP.

Justice Obande also granted judgments in favour of the governor against the appeals of the governorship candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party, John Udoedehe, as well as Akanimo Udofia, of the All Progressives Congress in the state.

The Appellate Court declared in the unanimous judgments that all three appeals were lacking in merit.

Following the March election, INEC declared Umo Emo winner polling 356,348 votes to defeat his closest rival, Bassey Albert of the YPP who polled 136,262 votes.

All the appellants had centred their cases around the alleged disqualification of the governor to contest the election on basis that he forged his 1981 WAEC and 1983 GCE Certificates presented to INEC. But the court held that the lower court was right to have ruled that the issue had already been settled by the Supreme Court.

In the YPP appeal, the Appellate Court also held that the appellant failed to discharge the burden of proving the allegation of falsified information.

The court held “On the issue of the academic certificates of the second respondent, no cause of action has arisen or will ever arise regarding his credentials.

“There was no forged certificate presented to INEC. It has already been held to be genuine by the supreme Court, so the issue is resolved against the appellant.”

The Court also held that the appellant’s
averments and evidence were found to be inconsistent and incapable of proving their case.

“In pleading a petition, you can’t compel a party to call a witness of your choice, the appellant could if they so wish call any witness. The petitioner must also tender all documents, electoral forms and witnesses who saw it all to prove the alleged illegalities and give life to the documents tendered.

“The appellant relied heavily on forms tendered form the bar, there was no polling agent from his party or one who witnessed the counting.

The testimony was adjudged hearsay evidence by the tribunal and rightly so.”

The Court also awarded costs of N500,000 in favour of Gov. Eno and his party, against the YPP’s candidate.

Recall that the Akwa Ibom electoral petition tribunal had earlier affirmed the election of Umo Eno as the governor of the state.

In a judgement delivered on Friday, the tribunal dismissed the petition marked EPT/AKW/GOV/01/2023 instituted by Albert Bassey and his party, the Young Progressives Party (YPP), which challenged the election of the Akwa Ibom state governor.

The unanimous judgement read by Adekunle Adeleye, who led the panel, held that the issue of Eno’s qualification had already been settled by the supreme court.

The tribunal held that the WAEC official summoned via a subpoena as PW10 authenticated the certificates, insisting that “WAEC did not disclaim the 1981 and 1983 WAEC certificates. Without a disclaimer by the issuing authority, the certificates remain valid,” the court held.

The court also held that “There is no legislation in Nigeria that a person’s name should be arranged on a particular order on a document.

“In the absence of any other person holding claims to the said 1981 and 1983 WAEC certificates, I hold that the certificates belong to the 2nd Respondent.

“Even the 1st petitioner himself told the court he was a victim of the same issue as three documents bearing his name tendered as exhibits before the tribunal carried different arrangements of his name, Albert Bassey, Akpan Bassey Albert and Bassey Albert Akpan. This is a case of a pot calling the kettle black.”

Summarily, the tribunal dismissed Bassey’s petition describing it as frivolous and baseless.

The tribunal had also dismissed the petition of the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Akanimo Udofia.

Udofia sought the nullification of Eno’s election on the grounds that he presented forged documents to INEC, and also did not score the highest number of valid votes in the March 18, governorship poll.

Udofia also accused the 2nd respondent of being convicted by an Abuja magistrate court, hence not qualified to be fielded for elections.

However, the tribunal ruled that the allegations of substantial non-compliance with the electoral law in the conduct of the elections were not sufficiently proven by the petitioners in their case.

The panel also ruled that the magistrate court, in its judgment, nullified its earlier conviction of Eno and that once a judgment is nullified, it ceases to exist.

- Advertisement -

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -
Latest News

Interswitch Sues Access, UBA, Zenith, GTbank, 50 Other Banks Over N3.3bn Lost To Hackers

One of the Nigeria payment platforms, Interswitch Limited, is currently battling to recover  a whooping sum of N33, 792,...

Banire, Etomi Task Technocrats In Public Offices On Probity, Accountability

 Muiz Banire A former Chairman of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), Dr. Muiz Banire (SAN) has called on technocrats in the public service...

Abiodun Douses Tension Over  BTA Differentials For Ogun Muslim Pilgrims

Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, has doused the  palpable tension among  Ogun State Muslim  Pilgrims by ameliorating  the shortfall in their Basic Travel...

Banire, Lagos AG, Adegboruwa, Others To Grace  NAJUC Lecture Tomorrow

Muiz Banire The Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Lawal Pedro (SAN), and a former Chairman of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON),...

Gov. Abiodun Harps On Judicious Use Of Public Funds …says accountability transparency, key to good govenance

Cross Section of Participants at the retreat   Ogun State Governor Prince Dapo Abiodun said his administration will continue to ensure probity and judicious spending of...
- Advertisement -

More Articles Like This

- Advertisement -