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Ekiti: Court of Appeals confirms Uibangi’s election

The election of the Governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Biodun Uyebangi, as the winner of the June 18, 2022 election for governor, was upheld by the Court of Appeals.

The Court of Appeals, in a ruling delivered almost Tuesday, rejected the appeal by the defeated Social Democratic Party (SDP) candidate, Chief Segun Oni, and resolved all four cases against the appellant.

In dismissing the appeal, the court also awarded a cost of N200,000 against the appellants.

In the ruling by the chair of the three-member appeals panel, Judge Hama Baraka, the Court upheld the Electoral Petition Court’s December 29, 2022 decision that Oni’s petition had failed miserably on all fronts as it was contesting the return of Uibangi. Poll winner.

The court agreed with the court that Uibangi was eligible to contest the gubernatorial vote after he was validly nominated in the January 27 gubernatorial primary at the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State.

The Court also agreed with the Court that the Deputy Governor, Ms. Monisad Afoe, was eligible to stand for the position on the grounds that she had a valid West African Examinations Council (WAEC) Ordinary Level Certificate contrary to allegations by the questioners that she held a fraudulent degree.

The Appeals Committee agreed with the Court’s decision that the fifth appellant, the Deputy Governor, Ms. Monisad Afoe, was eligible to contest that she had minimum academic requirements to stand for election.

The Court held that the arguments of the Petitioners/Appellants (UNI and SDP) were not eligible for appeal and were not supported by any document stating that the Appellants’ attempts to bring new issues of fact not raised in the original petition were inadmissible at law.

The Appeals Committee similarly agreed with the Court that Yobe State Governor Mala Bunye and James Akpanudwedi are qualified to sign Uibangi nomination forms in their former capacity as Chairman and Secretary of the APC Caretaker Extraordinary Planning Committee.

The brief agreed with the Court that Boni enjoys immunity under Section 308 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 and therefore cannot be prosecuted in Court as previously decided by the Supreme Court in Eyitayo Jegede v INEC.

“The argument that the fifth respondent was not competent to appeal was not supported by any document. The petitioner/appellant attempted to introduce new issues of fact not raised in the original petition. It is clear that the respondent did not raise any issue of fact.

Thus the appellant has no right to introduce new facts in his response. He had no leeway to rate the new facts missing in the initial petition. This is a subtle way to break the rules of the game.
Thus, the court was right to strike out the file of the new appellant in its response.”

“The allegation of forgery by the fifth respondent in the IEC form is criminal in nature. The appellant must first present evidence to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt as provided in criminal matters.

So the court was right to strike it out for evidence that was not properly presented. In essence, this means that the appellant was unable to substantiate the document’s forged claim.
The evidence of PW2 before the court was as stunning as it was wrong. The directory has rightfully been deleted.

In any event, the evidence presented by the appellant against the fifth defendant was insufficient. A disclaimer was not given by WAEC, the issuing authority, that the document was forged.

“They have woefully failed to claim fraud which is a criminal offence.
I agree with the court below that the appellant failed to show or prove that the document was forged.”

On December 29, 2022, the Electoral Pleas Court, presided over by Justice Wilfred Kbuchi, upheld Uibangi’s election, finding that Oni’s petition lacked merit.

Ekiti: Court of Appeals confirms Uibangi’s election

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