Engr. Frank Okon
Can Frank Okon overcome the great obstacles on his way and actualize his ambition of being the governor of Akwa Ibom State?
What happened at the federal High Court Two, Abuja, presided over by Justice Abdul Kafarati, on Thursday, July 12, would for many years remain indelible in the memory of those who were privileged to be in court that day, other Nigerians and the international community who later got the news from the media. Weeks earlier, notification of judgement in the 2011 Akwa Ibom State governorship tussle between Frank Okon, an engineer, and Godwil Akpabio, a lawyer and governor of Akwa Ibom State, were sent by the same court to the parties involved. And the parties were in court to receive the much expected judgement.
However, after long wait, to most people’s amazement, Babatunde Ashada, registrar of the court, came out and dismissed the court without giving any reason! It was later rumoured that the judge had traveled out of the country that very day. Four days later, the Federal High Court, proceeded on along annual vacation which will last from July 16th to September 14th, 2012. It is now hoped that Justice Kafarati who is now back in the country will fix a new date for Judgement when the annual vacation is over.
In the meantime, some lawyers argued that the Judge could easily have given the Judgement which had been written, to another Judge to read. Again, they insist that he could also deliver Judgement during the annual vacation if he so wishes as skeletal court services continue during the period. However, some other lawyers alleged that the Judge’s hands were tied and there was nothing he could do in the circumstances. Those in this school of thought argue that the Judge could even have been deliberately placed on an international Seminar outside the country.
Okon, a former special assistant to former Governor, Victor Attah, was a Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Governorship Aspirant in the April 2011 elections in the state. He went to court seeking the nullification of the election of the April 26 governorship election on the ground that he was illegally excluded from the party primary held on January 15, 2011, which returned Akpabio as the party standard bearer. This, he argued before the court, breached his fundamental human rights.
According to Okon, he was screened and cleared by PDP to participate in the party primary initially held on January 9, 2011 which was later canceled by the party. However, “I was schemed out by the collusion between INEC, PDP and Akpabio from the subsequent re-run fixed for January 15,” he said.
Put together, Okon in an amended originating summons of January 5, 2012, formulated 10 issues for determination by the court, supported by a 65-paragraph affidavit he deposed to. Furthermore, he asked the court to grant him nine reliefs. Some of these are: a declaration that the purported re-run primary of January 15, 2011, which produced Akpabio as the Governorship candidate of PDP, did not comply with the provisions of the 2010 Electoral Act as amended; that the purported re-run was ordered by the National Working Committee, NWC, presided over by Okwesilieze Nwodo, then chairman of PDP after his tenure had been terminated by an order of an Enugu high Court could not have produced a valid candidate, making it unlawful, null, void and of no effect; that the re-run was discriminatory and prejudicial as he was not issued any notice of re-run by the party, thereby violating his constitutional rights; that the re-run did not comply with the 7 days notice condition before it was conducted with the purported notice issued on January 14 and the re-run conducted on January 15! According to PDP constitution, the NWC has no power to order a re-run; such power resides with the NEC. But the party argued in court that it was as a result of emergency, which Okon described as untenable “as no one is allowed to substitute or vary content of a document orally.”
Consequently, “The conduct of the January 15, 2011 re-run primary election was gross violations of PDP Constitution, the PDP Electoral Guidelines, the Electoral Acts as amended and the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” argued Okon.
Okon also raised the issue of Akpabio’s eligibility when he did not have valid evidence that he paid his taxes in the three years preceding the primary. According to Article 14, Part IV of the PDP Electoral Guideline, “an aspirant to gubernatorial primary election shall not be qualified to be nominated or to contest the primary election, if he/she fails to produce his personal income tax certificate as at when due for the last preceding three years or evideince of exemption from payment of personal income tax”.
Accordingly, Okon averred that, “The requirement of tax payment is part of the party’s guidelines to be qualified for nomination; once an aspirant shows evidence of exemption from tax, he would have met requirement for nomination and failure to so qualify is fatal.” Against this background, Okon asked the court to declare him as the valid winner of the PDP Governorship primary in Akwa Ibom State; or in the alternative order a re-run of the party primary in the state.
When the court sat on May 3, 2012, the presentation of final briefs by all interested parties on the originating application earlier fixed for the day, was put off due to an application by Paul Usoro, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, Akpabio’s counsel, raising a preliminary objection to the jurisdiction of the court over the case. He cited the April 20, 2012 Supreme Court Judgement which dismissed the appeal by Timipre Sylva, former Governor of Bayelsa State, against his exclusion as candidate in the recent governorship primary in the state. The Supreme Court in the Bayelsa case held that the decision to sponsor a candidate for election is the internal decision of the political party, and not subject to being contested in court.
However, Lasun Sanusi, SAN, Okon’s counsel, argued that the two cases are fundamentally different. For instance, “Sylva was never cleared by the party to stand for election,” he argued. “In the plaintiff’s case, he was screened and cleared by the party to stand for that primaries election, and therefore has the right to challenge the conduct of that primaries election. Again, his name was conspicuously displayed on ballot paper for the January 9, 2011 election. So also was it on the result sheet of that election.” The Judge reserved the ruling of the preliminary objection to July 12 along with the final Judgement.
On its part, the Independent Electoral Commission, INEC, which is the first defendant, asked the court to dismiss the application against the commission for wrongful acceptance of a candidate for an election, saying the relevant provisions of the Electoral Act have not granted it any powers to reject a candidate for election that has been forwarded to it by the relevant officials of the political party. The commission pleaded that once that was done, only the court can decide the legitimacy of the choice, according to relevant laws. “As an umpire, INEC is enjoined to be neutral; hence, it must presume that any name forwarded to it by a political party is a name that emerged from a due process,” submitted the commission. However, it pledged to “Abide by whatever decision or order the court deems fit to make in the circumstance.”
On the other hand, Olusola Oke, SAN, counsel to the PDP, argued that claims by Okon that he was excluded to contest the primary could not be true as evidence showed that he was aware of the rescheduled election of January 15, 2011, but chose to stay away for personal reasons. The party further revealed that Nwodo’s signature was on the documents because they were signed in advance!
However, Sanusi countered that there is nothing in the constitution and regulation of the PDP to show that the party is authorized to accept as valid its documents printed in advance for an election, pointing out that if that is acceptable, then the party may publish the result of the election before they are held.
This was the state of affairs when the date of judgement was set. In Akwa Ibom State, the tension was palpable. There was visible fear at the Hilltop Manson, seat of power. And suddenly, the judgement could not be read. Meanwhile, Okon is on exile abroad. He has received several death threats; his phone and internet accounts have been hacked into to keep tabs on him. It’s a kind of David and Goliath duel as he has little weapons to fight other than the grace of God. His trial is the predicament of the average Nigerian who wants to exercise his right to run for any elective position of his choice as guaranteed by the Nigerian Constitution.
Knowing that a sitting governor has a huge financial war chest and immense connections nationwide, the underdog should have the right to, at least contest, and lose honourably but not to be deliberately excluded from contesting. The court is still the last hope of the common man and Okon has left fate to God through the Court.
By Anayochukwu Agbo
Senate President David Mark (Former Military Governor of Niger State and Former Minister of Communication)
He has the unenviable reputation of claiming that telephone was not meant for ordinary people when he was Minister of Communication.
David Mark robbed and killed many Nigerians in the past and to this day is continuing his atrocities. He pays himself N600 million every year. He hates the poor.
Nigeria’s Senate president, David Bonaventure Mark, is deeply troubled. And his present state of mind is justifiable. The criminal empire which prince he’s one of is at the verge of crumbling, or so he thinks. He’s eyeing the kingship of the empire in a few years from now. He wants to rule and reign in the kingdom. He has amassed enough wealth and bought enough souls to make this possible. He dreams of joining the league of candidates for prison who became presidents of Nigeria in the last three or so decades.
Culled from saharareporters
Frank Okon Versus Akpabio Forgery Case: Facts Revealed and Lies Debunked – Voice Of the People News JFAIO (Justice For Akwa Ibom Org)
JUNE 8, 2012 BY IHUOMA CHIEDOZIE, ABUJA
Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Dahiru Musdapher, on Thursday expressed concern over conflicting judgments from the various divisions of the Court of Appeal, as well as the Supreme Court.
In his address at the maiden Nigerian Monthly Law Reports Lecture Series at the International Conference Centre, sAbuja, the CJN bemoaned the development.
He blamed the development on the creation of different divisions of the Court of Appeal.
Musdapher said, “I must mention that quite a number of judgments from the Court of Appeal and a few from the Supreme Court appear to have created some confusion amongst practitioners and the general public.
“This untenable situation further underscores the importance of this lecture.
“We have witnessed a lot of confusion regarding the proper application of the principle of judicial precedent.
“The creation of several divisions of the Court of Appeal has also led to the unintended problem of conflicting judgments at the appellate court.
“Such judicial contradictions have a tendency to lead not only to confusion in judicial precedent but could cause untold hardship to litigants in their quest for justice.”
The CJN added, “These conflicting judgments not only confuse counsel but the public as well, further leading to uncertainty regarding the public perception of our ability to guarantee unequivocal justice.
“This portrays the judicial process as a game of Russian Roulette where any outcome is possible.”
He advised judges to carefully consider that precedents were unmistakably reflected within the context of the current case, whenever an issue begs for determination.
A Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, Lord Carnwath of Notting Hill, who delivered a lecture entitled ‘Judicial precedent: Taming the Common Law’, said greater certainty in law was the most important advantage in the principle of judicial precedents.
He said, “The existence of a precedent may prevent a judge from making a mistake which he might have made if he had been left on his own without any guidance.”
According to Carnwath, the principle can also allow people to generally order their affairs and come to settlements with a certain amount of confidence.
Photo: Chief Justice of Nigeria, Dahiru Musdapher
Dear Sir Honorable Chief Justice of Nigeria,
Justice For Akwa Ibom Organization is a human rights Organization created to be the watchlion of the society on behalf of the everyday people to be a voice where the people are unable to speak, to be the sight when the people are blinded, to be the strength when the people are weakened, to be the hope when all hope is lost, and to reach out for the suffering ones and give them reason for living.
We are not for some people but we are for all our people, the pDeople of Nigeria. We are here in America and also in Nigeria. Whatever happens this 31st of May, 2012, regarding the cries of justice not only from the people in Akwa Ibom but from the entire nation of Nigeria, will determine the tide of the future. If justice is denied it will only prepare grounds for the people of the nation of Nigeria to stand up in a very short amount of time just like what has happened in Libya, Egypt, Syria, Yemen, Cote d’Ivoire, and so many other countries that the wind of change is blowing across now. There is no weapon stronger than the power of the people. If everything fails the people would have to take their stand and make those who have put them through hardship and misery pay. That day is the day that people will know who the most powerful ones are. The ones with the most power are those whom God stands beside.
With all the evidence the world has seen about Godswill Akpabio’s corrupt ways and the atrocities he commits everyday against innocent people in the State of Akwa Ibom, Godswill Akpabio is still boasting of how he rigged the election and openly claiming that the Judiciary of Nigeria is in his pocket, as you can hear in the video which we sent to you (http://youtu.be/U1gu0UTAH1E), while he has no repercussions and he still retains his illegally stolen mandate of Governorship while the man whom the people gave the mandate to, Senator John James Akpan Udoedehe, is standing trial for what he is innocent of. Justice For Akwa Ibom has even posted evidence and sent it to you including this new Video and its accompanying script of Godswill’s ambush terror attack and the framing of Senator John James Akpan Udoedehe which proves Governor Akpabio’s guilt along with the other evidence we have posted and sent to you. Even so, we still have more astounding evidence in which we will continue to publish and shock the world in hopes of freeing the people of Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria and preventing Godswill Akpabio from planting an evil tree that will root so deep the State will never recover and even when he leaves its evil will taint the soil of the state. Governor Godswill Akpabio is just like James Ibori who committed crimes and walked as an innocent and free man in Nigeria, but now Akpabio must pay as James Ibori also has as Ibori has been found guilty and is in jail in the United Kingdom for the same crimes in which the Judiciary of Nigeria could not find him guilty. It is shameful.
That means our society punishes the innocent while the guilty go free. Remember that there is no one individual more powerful than anyone else but all the people united are more powerful than the few who abuse their position and use it against those whom they are supposed to serve and protect. Sir, I remind you today, hopefully you will be able to read this before you preside over the case that is before you that what goes around certainly comes around. The mercy you show the people today and the justice that you give to them is the same that the people shall return to you and your family on the judgment day which is around the corner. It is said that to whom much is given, much is also expected. Our nation has given you much and you are now in a position to help free the people and turn things around. Do not allow this opportunity to pass you by. Do right by the people and God will do right by you. Thank you and God bless Nigeria and the people on behalf of Justice For Akwa Ibom Organization.
The link to the video on YouTube is: http://youtu.be/NWBAbxVmhfs.
The blog can be found at http://www.justiceforakwaibom.wordpress.com.
Also the issue can be seen on Justice For Akwa Ibom Organization’s page on facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/JusticeForAkwaIbomOrganization/.
Governor Godswill Akpabio’s Ambush Terror Attack in Ikot Ekpene And Unjust Incarceration of Senator John James Akpan Udoedehe (Part 2, Volumes 1 & 2)
There is an abundance of footage and the length so long that we cannot contain all of it in this series, but at the same time we do not want to give too little because it is necessary to bring you the issues just as they have happened. Though some of the real life footage, which Justice For Akwa Ibom’s people risked their lives to obtain during the attacks, was seized and destroyed by the government forces sent to the scene by Governor Akpabio. This footage has been edited for time but with thoughts on bringing quality and the entire story.
A mammoth crowd, the first of its kind in the history of Akwa Ibom Political Campaigns, welcomes their choice for Governor Senator John James Akpan Udoedehe, the man they have seen as their only hope to turn things around for them through positive change.
Justice For Akwa Ibom Organization is a human rights organization created to be the watchlion of the society on behalf of the everyday people to be a voice where the people are unable to speak, to be the sight when the people are blinded, to be the strength when the people are weakened, to be the hope when all hope is lost, and to reach out for the suffering ones and give them reason for living.
It is time we all come together to fight the violations of human rights, injustice, oppression, and corruption by the government and even the non-governmental groups against the everyday people. We must remove the cause of the problem and secure the rights of the people from being violated. Let us face the truth to help change the outcome in the end. We can all stand together or wait to go down one day. The choice is simply ours. One Love.
On March 22, 2011 there was an ambush terror attack in Ikot Ekpene, Governor Godswill Akpabio’s hometown, after the Governor had warned that no other political opponent from a tribe not his own should come to his hometown to campaign. This is what happened after the Governor’s threat. The Governor reigned terror on innocent law-abiding citizens who went with Senator John James Akpan Udoedehe of opposition party ACN to campaign in Ikot Ekpene, which is also the hometown of the wife of Senator John James Akpan Udoedehe.
Some of the Wounded…
A citizen affected by the Ambush Terror Attack was injured in the leg and he slept in the bushes in Ikot Ekpene until that morning that he was able to return to Uyo after it was safe to do so.
An injured man wounded in the leg by PDP (People’s Democratic Party) thugs and cultists of Governor Godswill Akpabio. The man cannot walk since the attack.
A man beaten, stabbed, and wounded in the Ambush Terror Attack in Ikot Ekpene, Godswill Akpabio’s hometown. This man was beaten, stabbed, and wounded not by the people of Ikot Ekpene but by the PDP thugs and cultists of Governor Godswill Akpabio.
Another man affected by the same attack. He was stabbed in the head.
These pictures show men stabbed and wounded. The first one shows a man stabbed in the head, and a woman next to him stabbed in the arm. The second one is where Governor Godswill Akpabio’s thugs and PDP cultists attempted to remove the man’s hand. The third picture shows the injury on a man’s hand and an injury on the other man’s head.
This woman was stabbed in the arm.
This man was stabbed in the eye.
This man’s ankle was stabbed and his toes were run over with a vehicle.
This man was shot on his arm.
This cripple rode on a bike with another person to attend the rally in Ikot Ekpene and was thrown off the bike where the bike exhaust burnt his inner thigh and then his outer leg was stabbed with a sharp object.
This man was shot and wounded in the hand but he escaped with his life. He said three others that were with him were killed.
This man went to the Ikot Ekpene campaign with his brother. During the Ambush Terror Attack his brother was killed and his dead body along with so many others that died in the attack have not been found to this day.
Some of the Damages…
Damages to vehicles from the Ambush Terror Attack.
A car was shot at, the windshield broken, and one person inside was injured and the man in the video took the person to the hospital.
This man was using his car as an ambulance, because there were no ambulances available. He had his car demolished with hammers, axes, and rocks. He drove over the barricade with all five people who were in the car, some of them injured, and that is the only reason why they escaped with their lives.
A car was badly damaged by the attacker’s of Godswill Akpabio. The people in the car were injured. Notice how badly Akpabio’s thugs must have hit the door to damage it so severely.
More damaged cars destroyed by Governor Godswill Akpabio, his thugs, his cultist gang, and the PDP.
Vehicles damaged and some with blood inside from the innocent victims. Two people died within this car and the driver was seriously wounded from the attack orchestrated by Governor Godswill Akpabio and the PDP.
These pictures are of Senator John James Akpan Udoedehe’s bulletproof car and his wife’s bulletproof car after they were shot at and hit in Ikot Ekpene during the Ambush Terror Attack with the powerful weapon supplied to the attackers by Governor Akpabio.
The Press Conference after the shock of the Ambush Terror Attack on the citizens, the Senator, his deputy, and his wife in Ikot Ekpene. As you can hear from the press briefing, there Senator John James Akpan Udoedehe had ordered for the campaigning to be stopped since it was becoming too dangerous and he could not stand to see so many lives continuously lost. The end of campaigning was actually Governor Godswill Akpabio and his ruling PDP party’s aim. This man addressing the press, Aniekan Akpan the former state chairman of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), betrayed the people. He also escaped death in the Ambush Terror Attack in Ikot Ekpene, then turned around and collected millions of naira, abandoned the cause, and joined Akpabio on his corruption spree.
Senator John James Akpan Udoedehe with the government forces all around him as he is being returned back to prison from court. Hear the lamentations of the people because their Governor was not yet freed and they want justice because he has been incarcerated unlawfully. Notice the Senator’s black Suburban leaving. They had expected the Senator to be released and because he was not released they are driving his car to where he is being taken next. You can hear the masses asking that the Federal Government should declare a state of emergency in Akwa Ibom State. The angry masses are saying in their dialect, “Where are they taking him? What kind of nonsense is this?”
The people have made their way to the second court which is the high court of justice, presided over by Chief Justice of Akwa Ibom State, Justice Idongesit Ntem Isua, as the attorneys are still trying to obtain bail for Senator John James Akpan Udoedehe’s release. In this court hearing where they are to decide on Senator John James Akpan Udoedehe’s release, notice that the people are standing up as they are beginning to get tense and scared that they could deny the Senator’s release after he has been freed from Abuja where Governor Godswill Akpabio bribed the officials to whisk the Senator away by chartered helicopter in an attempt to frame Senator John James Akpan Udoedehe for treason and place him in a fumigated room so the Senator could die of a heart attack. The Chief Justice of the state who is known for her strict discipline and zero tolerance of judicial insubordination, who is also not in support of the situation and the behavior of the Governor, granted the Senator bail against the will of the Governor Akpabio and his ruling PDP party, and that is why this case was successful and ended the way it did. The attorneys of Senator John James Akpan Udoedehe successfully argued the case and obtained the release of the Senator. As you can see, the entire court cheers and this tells you how much the people are yearning for somebody who could free them from the hands of Godswill Akpabio and his ruling PDP party. Hear with your own ears the citizens express their joy alongside the lawyers that justice was done, and according to the Akwa Ibomite representing the Diaspora “my Governor”, Senator John James Akpan Udoedehe is released. The Senator did not ask anybody to speak good on his behalf. These individuals spoke good on his behalf because he is a decent man, a just man, a compassionate man, whom God has touched and given the grace. For the Senator to have everything that he has and still want to suffer for the people it is the grace that God has bestowed on him, and so his people also responded as you can see, and hear, and also by the votes that proclaimed him the winner of the Gubernatorial Election of Akwa Ibom State. Godswill Akpabio does not and will never enjoy such good will and affection, neither will he be spoken good of by the majority of the people except the sycophant and those that benefit from his looting of the treasury.
People are waiting outside the prison for Senator John James Akpan Udoedehe to be released. Senator John James Akpan Udoedehe has seen the deplorable living conditions of the prisoners he met in the prison. He has donated so many things to improve their living condition including the generator and the electrical wiring so the prisoners can have light since they were all living in darkness. That is why these men are carrying materials into the prison as you can see.
Senator John James Akpan Udoedehe is finally being released from his unjust incarceration. The people are overjoyed and are singing praises unto God that He has given them victory, and dancing in the streets to express their elation on this day. They are singing in their dialect, “Most High God in His Kingdom deserves thanks and praises. The tribe that Jehovah has fought their battle for them, bring them, let they rejoice.” They also say, “praise the Lord.”
Senator John James Akpan Udoedehe, after returning from prison, to avoid Governor Akpabio from causing trouble and framing him again, and killing innocent citizens, the Senator had to do rallies in his compound. Senator John James Akpan Udoedehe says in his dialect, “this particular election the widows, widowers, poors, needies, and the unemployed, all their prayers are in this election. So it is not good for anybody to mess with it and make their hopes to be in vain. So from today go home and do house-to-house campaign.” Then the crowd sings neighbors to neighbors. Then Senator goes on to say, “to all the cyclists, I beg you, don’t cause any trouble, so that you may not be arrested and put in jail. Let me tell you what I have gone to see in the prisons. I met a man called Ikenga. He was a thug who was shooting guns during the election on behalf of one politician called Cyril during the era of the political party called NPN. He was arrested and prosecuted and sentenced to life imprisonment. I met him. He is there now while the politician he was being a thug for is a free man and enjoying life. Number two, I met youths like you who were thugs shooting guns during the election for house members who are serving right now in the house. They gave them ten year jail sentences while those politicians are free men and are still serving in the state house of assembly and have forgotten about those who were shooting guns to rig the election for them who are now in jail. Number three, I have seen youths like you there. I asked them why you are here. They told me that they were dealing drugs because of unemployment and got caught. That is why they are in jail. I also met some young girls. I asked them why are you here. They told me because they committed crimes. That is why I do not want you to go to jail because of me. What I want is votes. Do you understand what I am saying? What do I say I want? Vote!” The above is the advice that the Senator gave to all the teeming youths before the election.
Closing Thoughts by Victor Essiet (The Mandators): The election has come and gone and the people of Akwa Ibom State have exercised their right and made their choice and Senator John James Akpan Udoedehe also played by the book, but their mandate was stolen by Godswill Akpabio and the ruling PDP party. It is painful that so many people have died and many have been deeply and irrevocably injured due to the ambition of one man and his group who are so oppressive, unjust, corrupt, wicked, and without remorse. The man voted for has gone to the court to seek justice on behalf of the masses to have the people’s mandate returned to its rightful owner. The world has seen how this justice was denied. The Chief Justice failed to live out the true meaning of Chief Justice of the People and the Nation of Nigeria and soon this food he has cooked for us, he, along with the entire Judiciary System, and all the people who have joined to oppress the suffering people of Nigeria, will partake of it. To the people, love is the drug, love is the cure, come as one and our nation will become strong. One love and keep the faith. On behalf of Justice For Akwa Ibom Organization.
Thanks to all the artists for the soundtracks.
Beginning soundtrack “Ambush In The Night” by Bob Marley.
Second soundtrack “One Love” by Bob Marley.
Third soundtrack “Rat Race” by Victor Essiet and the Mandators.
Fourth soundtrack “Justice” by Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers.
Fifth soundtrack “Nation and the People” by Victor Essiet and the Mandators.
Added in Volume 2: “Stand Up” by Victor Essiet and the Mandators.
Thanks to the members of Justice For Akwa Ibom and others who risked their lives to make sure that the people’s voice are heard. Thanks also to those who helped in making the production of this video possible.
Justice For Akwa Ibom Organization
Check out our facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/JusticeForAkwaIbomOrganization or our account on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003825776672.
The Nigerian Voice Published Justice For Akwa Ibom’s Article: Injustice on Display: How clean is the Chief Justice of Nigeria—Musdapher?
|Opinion | 15 May 2012 Last updated at 08:57 CET
Injustice on Display: How clean is the Chief Justice of Nigeria—Musdapher?
By Justice4 Akwa Ibom Organization
About a month ago, a source from the Supreme Court hinted the staffs of Justice4 Akwa Ibom Organization that the Chief Justice of Nigeria (Justice Musdapher) has compromised with the Presidency over the case of Senator Udoedehe versus Godswill Akpabio, which is pending in the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
According to our very highly reliable source, President Goodluck Jonathan sent a secret message to Justice Musdapher asking him to find a way and make sure that the pending Akwa Ibom Governorship Election Hearing should not be allowed to see the light of day. When the staffs of Justice4 Akwa Ibom expressed doubts over what was told them by the source, the source advised our staffs to wait and see what will happen on the day the case will be summoned for a hearing.
Today, May 14, 2012, when the matter was heard by the Supreme Court, presided over by Justice Musdapher, what our source told us would happen actually unfolded. The following exchanges occurred between the ACN lawyers and Chief Justice Musdapher;
CJ Musdapher: “What do you want? Do you want me to validate the constitution? Haven’t we decided on this case already? We cannot hear this case.”
Counsel for the Plaintiff: “Your Honor, we are not asking you to validate the constitution. We are asking you to hear the case, that section 285 subsection 6 of the 1999 constitution seek to alter section 36 – subsection on the right to a fair hearing within a reasonable time, which is a fundamental right provision. Secondly, section 285 subsections 6 also seek to alter section 6a of the constitution which provides for power of court, independent of court, and separation of power between the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary. This is the basic and foundational feature of the constitution which cannot be altered. Any purported alteration would be null and void. These are what we want the Supreme Court to do so we can go back and hear this case, which has not been heard in the first place, because 180 days provided by section 285 subsections 6 is not applicable. Section 4 subsections 8 of the 1999 constitution do not give power to the legislature to limit the jurisdiction of the court in Nigeria.”
CJ Musdapher: “We cannot write judgment in 14 days. We are all old people.”
Then he adjourned the case to May 31, 2012. These are the issues that the Supreme Court and the chief justice want to dodge so that Godswill Akpabio can continue to rule on behalf of the PDP. It is worth mentioning that as far as this matter is concerned, the Nigerian Constitution allows 60 days for the hearing of Appeal. The 60-day limitation will expire on June 2, 2012.
If the Supreme Court judges cannot write judgment in 14 days, even though the constitution allows them to hear the case the same day and can give the judgment the same day, then the case would be thrown out. If the hearing is on May 31, 2012, and the expiration day for the appeal process is on June 2, 2012, then how are the judges going to be able to write judgment in 2 days? Justice Musdapher said in court that they are old and tired; therefore, they cannot write judgment in 14 days. Then how are these same old men going to be able to write judgment in 2 days, because on June 2nd, 2012, the case would be out of statute as the time allotted will run out?
This seems to go the way our source from the Supreme Court informed us one month ago when he tipped-off our staffs that the Judges want to play into time for the case to fall out of the allotted time and then they would use that as an excuse not to hear the case.
It could be recalled that this approach was also done to Steve Ibanga in his case against the PDP and the incumbent Governor, Godswill Akpabio. As everyone might have seen on the Godswill Akpabio 2011 Nigerian Election Corruption and Bribery Undercover-Video posted by the Justice4 Akwa Ibom Organization on YouTube, Godswill Akpabio has said that the system would back him to continuously oppress the people and that the people will never get justice and that there is no justice in the Judiciary System of Nigeria and that the Governor will capitalize on that to achieve his aim on behalf of his party and the Presidency.
So, if Chief Justice Musdapher is truly a Chief Justice of repute, with clean hands and good intentions for his countrymen and women, we are about to witness, and the world is about to see, if this is the same man who lamented on the 14th of November 2011, that the “world is watching Nigeria” and that it was “too early for him to begin to lose his mind” and that cases should be “heard on its merit for the sake of justice” but not on technical grounds.
On that date, Justice Musdapher also said that all cases that were not heard should be returned for hearing. Then he went ahead to say De Novo, meaning in Latin afresh. We demand that the people of Akwa Ibom State and all other people affected in whatever unjust justice in Nigeria must get justice now.
A nation without justice, equal rights, fairness, and human rights, can never and will never survive. When there is only injustice in everywhere and every day then there is no hope for the weak and the poor ones in Nigerian society. Those who mitigate and support injustice should bear in mind that what goes around will definitely come around.
Our country’s Chief Justice says they are all old; we appreciate and understand their condition, which is inevitable. In fact we rejoice their old age with them, we also thank God for keeping them alive to this day. But because they old, do they have to destroy the country and leave it in ruins before they die?
Certainly, we must not allow these people to deal with us as if we are fools. We must stand up to them. We must give a voice to Akwa Ibom and Nigeria so that justice can prevail without regards to class, party, tribes, or status. Justice now: that is what the people need and that is what the people want. Injustice against one is injustice against all. One Love, on behalf of Justice4 Akwa Ibom Organization.
Justice4 Akwa Ibom Organization
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