Peoples Democratic Party V. Umana Okon Umana & Ors (2016) LLJR-SC

Peoples Democratic Party V. Umana Okon Umana & Ors (2016)

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The three issues which, in my view, are determinative of this appeal were framed thus:

  1. Whether the Court of Appeal was right in law in holding that the maker of exhibit 317 ought not to have been called to testify in order for the exhibit to enjoy due weight by reason of which the Court relied on the exhibit in nullifying the results declared by the fourth respondent [INEC] for thirteen [LGAs] of Akwa Ibom State
  2. Whether the Court of Appeal was right in law when it held that there was over-voting In the Governorship election conducted in Akwa Ibom State on 11th April, 2015 because exhibit 317 contained a figure of 437, 728 as the number of accredited voters whilst the total votes cast on the day of the election was 1, 122, 836


  1. Whether the Court of Appeal was not wrong in law in nullifying the results declared by the fourth respondent for thirteen [LGAS] of Akwa Ibom State in the Governorship election held on 11th April and ordering that fresh election be held throughout the State


Having resolved issues akin to them in earlier appeals, namely, SC.1/2016; SC.3/2016; SC.2/2016; SC.4/2016

and SC.6/2016, I adopt my reasons for the said Judgements as my reasons in respect of this appeal. I therefore, allow this appeal.

My Lords, permit me to make one final observation before concluding this judgment. At page 5109, Vol 6, the lower Court, in an unwarranted, indeed, unprecedented, act of grandstanding, pontificated in these words, which find no anchorage on the proved or established facts:

“…May this country never again experience the violence and thuggery found to have taken place in Akwa Ibom State during the Governorship elections held on 11th April, 2015…The descent into almost anarchy as occurred in this case must never again be allowed to take place. The supervising body, INEC, is charged at all times to remain on the side of truth and never be complicit in any subversion of due process.” [Italics supplied]

See also  Alhaji Abubakar Sadikwu Vs Alhaji Abba Dalori (1996) LLJR-SC

Unarguably, the lower Court must have derived its source of information from outside the volumes of records in this appeal for the Police, in their exhibit 337, had listed as their achievement in the said election: “peaceful conduct of the election in the State [that is, Akwa Ibom State’;” “safety of election staff and materials;”

“adherence to election standard operation practice for Police Officers;” “vigilance, dedication and resilience of Officers and men throughout the election;” “synergy among security agencies and formation of joint operations centres for interaction of various securities agencies” etc etc.

With profound respect, therefore, the lower Court’s indefensible and unjustifiable castigation of INEC was most uncharitable, to say the least. I shall say no more on this!

All said and done, for the avoidance of any doubt, I hereby set aside the orders of the lower Court in respect of the election of Udom Gabriel Emmanuel. I find that these orders must be, and are hereby, vacated. In their place, since the Petitioners at the trial Tribunal [first and second respondents in this appeal] failed to prove their Petition, as enjoined by law, I affirm INEC’S declaration of Udom Gabriel Emmanuel as the duly elected Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Appeal allowed. Parties are to bear their costs.

SC.7/2016 (REASONS)

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