The Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Umo Eno has asked the Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos to reject the appeal brought before it by Senator Bassey Akpan of the Young Progressives Party (YPP).
He however, asked the court to uphold the decision of the lower court, which declared him the winner of the governorship election that took place on March 18, 2023.
YPP and Senator Akpan, in appeal number CA//C/EP/GOV/AKW/24/2023, are challenging the judgement of the Governorship Petitions Tribunal in Uyo, which confirmed Eno as the validly elected Governor of Akwa Ibom State.
According to a statement issued by his Senior Special Adviser on Research and Documentation, Dr Essien Ndueso, shortly after the hearing on Monday, the governor, through his lead counsel, Paul Usoro, SAN, faulted the arguments by the appellants that the judgement of the Supreme Court in the matter of certificate forgery by Mr Akan Okon was different from the certificate forgery case brought before the elections tribunal by Senator Akpan.
He had argued: “When the court gave the judgement, it clearly decided that the said documents were not forged but belonged to the second respondent. It implies that the judgement is applicable to PDP, INEC, the court, or any establishment for that matter.”
He argued further that: “It was legally imperative that there should be an end to litigation, and as such, the appellants had no reason to keep belabouring the court over a matter that had been sufficiently resolved at the highest court of the land.”
The appellants, jointly represented by Tunde Falola, held that they were dissatisfied by the ruling and judgement of the tribunal upholding the preliminary objections of the respondents and dismissing the petition, hence the appeal.
The appellants argued that they had presented 18 witnesses before the tribunal and had sufficiently shown that the second respondent was, at the time of the election, not qualified to contest the election because he presented a forged certificate to INEC and that he was not elected by a majority of lawful votes cast at the election.
Counsel to INEC, Kolapo Kolade, SAN, said the petitioners never produced a true owner of the certificate, which they claimed did not truly belong to Umo Eno, and that they never produced any document to buttress their claims of forgery.
On his part, counsel to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Tayo Oyetibo, SAN, among other things, argued that even the first appellant, Bassey Albert, presented before the lower court three documents that bear the arrangement of his name in three different ways: Akpan Albert, Bassey Albert Akpan, and Albert Bassey Akpan, yet still claimed ownership of the three documents.
Also, the governorship candidate of the Accord Party, Emem Coffie, approached the Appeal Court, seeking that the judgement of the lower trial tribunal be upturned in his favour.
The governorship candidate and his party, represented by their counsel, Chidi Nwachukwu, argued that he deserved to be declared the governor as other candidates in the election were not qualified to contest the election.
All matters were adjourned to a later date for judgement.
Culled from Daily Post
Appeal Court Sacks Nasarawa speaker
The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has sacked the Speaker of the Nasarawa State House of Assembly, Hon. Ibrahim Balarabe Abdullahi, a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
In a judgement delivered on Tuesday, the court declared the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Hon. Sa’ad Abdullahi Ibrahim (Turakin-Opanda), as the rightful winner of the election for Umaisha/Ugya State Constituency.
Appeal Court affirms Hyacinth Alia’s victory as Benue Governor
The Court of Appeal, sitting in Abuja, on Monday, upheld the election of Hyacinth Alia as declared by INEC after the March 18th, 2023 election as governor of Benue State
The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the March 18 governorship election, Titus Uba, had approached the appellate court to set aside the judgment of the tribunal that upheld Alia’s election.
At the tribunal, Uba accused Alia’s deputy, Samuel Ode, of presenting a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) contrary to Section 182(1)(j) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended)
He also alleged that Alia’s name was submitted less than 180 days before the election date, and Ode was also not submitted to INEC after the party conducted a further re-run primary election.
A three-member panel of the tribunal, headed by Justice Ibrahim Karaye, dismissed the petition on the ground that it was a pre-election matter and was statute-barred.
Ruling on the appeal on Monday, the appeal court’s three-member panel led by Justice Onyekachi Aja Otisi held that Uba failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt the allegations of forgery against Ode
As long as God remains on the throne our mandate will be preserved, says Mutfwang
Plateau Governor, Caled Mutfwang spoken with confidence that as long as God remains on the throne, the people’s mandate will be preserved and protected as he reiterated his commitment to the rule of law, while assuring the people that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Mutfwang who was reacting to the Appeal Court judgement that sacked him on Sunday described the verdict as a temporary setback that will not deter him from repositioning the state.
“We have unwavering faith in the judiciary and the Constitution of Nigeria,” he added.
The Governor said he has instructed his legal team to file an appeal at the Supreme Court, admonishing citizens of the state and PDP supporters to remain calm.
Mutfwang gave the indication in a press statement signed by his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Gyang Bere, expressed optimism that the mandate overwhelmingly given to him by the citizens would be restored.
Mutfwang polled 525,299 votes in the March 18 governorship election in the state, while Goshwe polled 481,370 votes.
Goshwe challenged the victory of Mutfwang at the tribunal, claiming that the Governor was not validly nominated and sponsored by his Party, insisting there was non-compliance with the Electoral Act in the election.
In a unanimous decision, a three-member panel of the tribunal headed by Justice R. Irele-Ifijeh dismissed the petition for lacking in merit.
Displeased with the judgment, the APC candidate appealed the tribunal judgment.
The appellate court ruling on Sunday, led by Justice Elfrieda Williams-Dawodu, held that the PDP did not validly sponsor the Governor during the election.
She held that the Party violated a court order to conduct a valid Congress in that state’s 17 Local Government Areas.
She said there was no evidence that the PDP complied with a subsisting High Court order which had directed it to conduct a valid party congress before sponsoring the governorship and other candidates.
The court held that the issue of qualification is both a pre-election and a post-election matter contrary to the tribunal’s findings, which held that the appellant lacked the locus to contest the validity of the respondent.
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