On Friday, the Court of Appeal in Lagos dismissed the appeals of Akwa Ibom’s gubernatorial candidates Akanimo Udofia of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and John Akpanudoedehe of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP). Akpan was a member of the Young Progressives Party (YPP).

In 2023, Governor Umo Eno of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) faced a challenge from three gubernatorial candidates and their respective parties.

In two different decisions, the court ruled that the appeals lacked legal validity.

The Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Governor Eno, dismissing the appeals that sought to have the election overturned due to allegations of certificate fraud.

However, the Appellate Court found that the certificate matter judgment was not binding on the appellants because they were not parties to the case.

It found that the appellants had abused the court system by retrying a case that had already been decided in Pastor Umo Eno Bassey’s favor by the High Court, the Appeal Court, and the Supreme Court.

The appellate court’s decision regarding the YPP governorship candidate’s appeal further criticized the appellants for failing to produce polling agent witnesses to corroborate their allegations of election fraud.

Bassey Albert and his party were found guilty of using hearsay because they relied solely on documents to support their claims of election irregularities rather than attempting to provide testimony from voters and poll workers.

On the local government collation agents that the YPP candidate paraded before the court, the court held that “it is possible to say that the evidence given by Bassey Albert’s witnesses amounted to drama scripts meant to entertain the gallery and not serious statements that could influence the emergence of a governor.”

The court concluded that the appellants failed to meet their burden of proof by failing to show that the name of the second respondent matched the names on the 1981 and 1983 WAEC certificates.

The appeals court also decided that the briefs submitted by the respondents did not contradict the Appeal Court’s practice directive, and it overruled Bassey Albert’s attorney Tunde Falola’s preliminary objection.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *