Akwa Ibom: Reverse Your Judgement on Governorship Candidate – Lawyer Tells Supreme Court

The All Progressives Congress (APC) and its governorship candidate, Akanimo Udofia, faced a setback on Monday at the Supreme Court in their bid for a review of the judgement affirming Governor Umo Eno’s election in Akwa Ibom State.

The apex court dismissed their requests, urging a reversal and departure from the final verdict that concluded the legal battle in January 2024.

During Monday’s proceedings, lawyer O.U. Orji surprised the court with a motion seeking a review of the final verdict delivered on January 18. Before a full panel of seven justices led by Justice Uwani Musa Aba-Aji, the lawyer, claiming to represent APC and Udofia, insisted on a review in the interest of justice and fair play.

However, sensing the mood of the justices, Orji changed tune and claimed he was just holding a brief for another lawyer.

He said that a lawyer contacted him in the morning to bring the motion before the Supreme Court and that he would have willingly opted out of the case if he were the owner of the case.

When reminded that he was on his own as a lawyer as far as the Supreme Court was concerned, Orji said that given the mood of the court and the wise counsel from senior lawyers in court, he wished to withdraw the case.

At this point, Justice Tijani Abubakar cut in and asked: “As a minister in the temple of justice, do you need to do the right thing on your own or contact your client before the right thing can be done?”

Sensing that the lawyer might be heavily penalised, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Damian Dodo, rose and apologised profusely on behalf of the lawyer for bringing a frivolous motion before the court.

Thereafter, Lawyer Orji tendered profuse apologies and applied for withdrawal of the motion.

Subsequently, Justice Uwani Musa Aba-Aji, in a brief ruling, dismissed the motion with a serious warning to lawyers not to turn themselves into a laughingstock because of desperate politicians.

Justice Uwani Abba-Aji noted that there was nothing new in the appeal that required the court’s consideration.

The panel said the concurrent judgements by the two lower courts have effectively dealt with the issues raised in the case.

It noted that the tribunal and the Court of Appeal were right in holding that the appellants failed to establish their claims that Eno forged his West African Examination Council, WAEC, result and that he was an ex-convict.