A’Ibom Guber Appeal Judgement: A Pyrrhic Victory!

The Court of Appeal today delivered judgment in the Appeal filed by Mr. Nsima Ekere and the APC and affirmed the judgement of the trial Tribunal.

The Court dismissed the Appeal on same grounds as earlier dismissed by the Tribunal.

Mr. Ekere had appealed against judgement of the Election Petition Tribunal which dismissed his Petition substantially on technical grounds.

While affirming the judgement of the Tribunal, the Court of Appeal held that exhibits tendered at the Tribunal were dumped without being demonstrated by witnesses called by the Appellant.

It also held that the said exhibits were not certified in accordance with section 104 of the Evidence Act. The Court did not particularise the non-certification.

The Court however agreed with the Appellants that the Tribunal was wrong to have rejected the evidence of PW 41 on account of non-filing of witness statement on Oath. But on further evaluation, the Court says it did not believe the witnesses, without reason.

Justifying the charade of March 9, it went further to say that the outcome of an election raised a presumption of regularity on the process leading to the outcome and saw no need to disturb the result of the discredited arrangement that threw up Governor Udom Emmanuel as winner of the March 9, 2019 contest.

In a curious twist and in apparent betrayal of emotion, Justice Awotoye who read the lead judgement referred to the Appellants’ case as “decapitated corpse”. For effect, he awarded cost of N500,000.00 against the Appellants.

The fallibility of the apex Court allows room for correction of over zealous and over ambitious outbursts tainted with partisanship from the lower Bench.

In many cases, such cases have slipped through unnoticed and unchecked and have become unfortunate precedents placing immorally weighty burden on litigants.

This case shall be an exception!


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