Wednesday, 16 December 2015


More Nigerian lawyers, Chief Adekunle Adesanya (SAN) and Barr Uno Umoekeyo Uno have advised media establishments against being used to publish unconfirmed and mischievous news to cause confusion and attempt to mislead the course of justice.

Chief Adesanya, lead counsel to the Peoples Democratic Party at the appeal court, and Barr Uno the Assistant Legal Adviser of the Akwa Ibom state PDP, who spoke shortly after the Appeal Court upheld the election of Senator Godswill Akpabio, expressed dismay over the false report by an online news medium Sahara Reporters a night before the actual ruling.
READ-BREAKING NEWS: Senate Minority Leader Godswill Akpabio Sacked From The Senate Sahara Reporters had caused a stir by announcing that Akpabio had been sacked by the appeal court. Adesanya who was happy with the outcome of the case said that his team had a solid case and where not dissuaded by the mischievous publication on the social media. He said that the judgement has reaffirmed that the judiciary is the last hope of the common man.

The PDP lead counsel said that even the witnesses to the petitioner had admitted at the tribunal that Senator Akpabio was the most popular politician in the state, and that he campaigned to be elected as the senator for Ikot Ekpene senatorial district, and so an error on one of the preliminary forms which had since been corrected by INEC had no bearing on the actual outcome of the election.

Adesanya maintained that those who voted at the elections, clearly voted for Senator Akpabio of the PDP and so it would have been a disservice to them, if their decision was not respected and upheld by the court.
“What we have seen here is that no matter the level of propaganda and twisting of facts on the social media or newspapers, the court cannot be swayed, but relies on the facts before it to make its decision,” he added.
Also commenting on this, the assistant legal adviser of the Peoples Democratic Party in Akwa Ibom state Barr Uno Umoekeyo Uno also condemned the false publication.


Barr Uno who spoke to journalists in his office in Uyo, said it was subjudice for any media establishment to manufacture and publish a fake judgement to mislead and misinform the public.
He said that circulating a false decision ahead of a judicial verdict, was contemptuous before the law, and could be regarded a criminal act which is punishable under Section 133 of the criminal code with 3 months imprisonment. Uno advised members of the public to desist from publicising such criminal stories from detractors, and further urged Akwa Ibom people to remain law abiding and support the government achieve its plans of delivering dividends of democracy. 

In their judgment, a three-man panel of Justices of the appellate court led by Justice Mashood Oredola, dismissed appeal that was lodged against Akpabio by candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, for the Senatorial District, Chief Inibehe Okori.
The appellate court held that the Akwa Ibom State National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal acted properly when it dismissed the joint petition that Okori and APC filed before it on April 18.
According to the court, the appellants failed to by preponderance of evidence, prove that Akpabio was not duly nominated by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to contest the March 28 election.
According to the appellate court, the fact that Akpabio was in an initial list that was sent to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, by the PDP, erroneously identified as the Senatorial candidate for Akwa Ibom North East, did not invalidate his election.

READ- Breaking News- Appeal Court upholds Akpabio ’s election

It held that Akpabio was duly nominated for the election in accordance with the provisions of section 65(2) of the 1999 constitution, as amended, and section138(1) of the Electoral Act.
“The tribunal was right to hold that no one was mislead by the mistake. The 1st Respondent was qualified and duly nominated by the 3rd Respondent.
“There is abundant evidence that the electorates, including the petitioners, were not in any way undecided as to the Senatorial District which the 1st respondent was nominated to contest the election. “The 1st Respondent have proved by credible evidence that he was duly sponsored by the 3rd Respondent and was eminently qualified to contest the election.
“The electorates that trooped out to vote on March 28 must have their wishes and votes respected. The real essence of democratic practice is to afford them the opportunity to express their wish through the ballot, so as to have their say. Once they have spoken, their voice must not only be heard but must be protected as well as respected.
  “In the overall, this appeal lacks merit and is hereby refused. The judgement of the tribunal delivered on October 14 is hereby affirmed.”

READ- Crowd of Supporters hold Akpabio hostage at Etiebet’s funeral

There shall be no order as to cost”, the appeal court ruled apparently on seeing the pitiable and remorseful look of the petitioner.
The supporters who waited endlessly for him at Ikot Ibritam junction blocked the road and forced him to walk a distance of about three kilometres to the deceased compound amidst drumming and dancing. Akpabio was welcomed by an APC chieftain and brother of the deceased, Atuekong Don Etiebet and the children of the deceased.

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