Complaint against the judicial conduct of justice James Ogebe JSC, Justice John A. Fabiyi jsc, Hon. Justice Abubakar A. Jega JCA, Hon. Justice Uwani M. Aba – Aji JCA and Hon. Justice Raphael C. Agbo JCA. It is with absolute sense of humility and responsibility, first as a Senior citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and, secondly as a Senior member of the Bar, that I solemnly address this complaint to you against the judicial conduct of some members of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal.
These are: (a) Hon. Justice James Ogenyi Ogebe JSC.
(b) Hon. Justice John Afolabi Fabiyi JSC
Both Justices were of the Court of Appeal at all times material to this complaint. References to them in this complaint will therefore be in that capacity.
Other Justices affected by this complaint are:
(a) Honourable Justice Abubakar Abdulkader Jega, JCA
(b) Honourable Justice Uwani Musa Aba-Aji, JCA
(c) Honourable Justice Raphael Chikwe Agbo, JCA
The five Justices above mentioned constituted the Court of Appeal Panel which heard at first instance the Presidential Election Petition No CA/A/EP/2/07: General Muhammadu Buhari V. Independent National Electoral Commission & 5 Ors which arose out of the Presidential Election held on 21st April, 2007. Honourable Justice Ogebe presided until his elevation to the Supreme Court Bench while judgment in the case was being awaited. On the day of judgment, that is 26th February, 2008, Justice Fabiyi presided and delivered the Lead judgment which was unanimously adopted by the rest.
It is against the joint and several acts of the Learned Justices above mentioned which constitute a threat to the image, integrity and efficacy of the judiciary institution, that I am presenting this complaint of Judicial misconduct.
2.00 PARTICULARS OF COMPLAINT AGAINST THE JUDICIAL OFFICERS
2.01 My complaint herein against the five Learned Justices jointly and severally is that they (the Justices), in the performance of their Judicial functions in hearing the Election Petition No. CA/A/EP/2/07 supra, jointly and severally breached the judicial oath for judicial officers provided under the 7th Schedule to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (hereinafter ‘the Constitution) to which they all subscribed under Section 290(1) of the Constitution, as they did not perform their functions honestly as provided in the judicial oath. The Oath provides that a judicial officer solemnly swears or affirms as follows:
“that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the Federal Republic of Nigeria; that as ………………. I will discharge my duties, and perform my functions honestly, to the best of my ability and faithfully in accordance with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the law; that I will abide by the Code of conduct contained in the Fifth Schedule to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; that I will not allow my personal interest to influence my official conduct or my official decisions; that I will preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
So help me God”
2.02 The Learned Justices also, in the purported performance of their judicial functions in Election Petition No. CA/A/EP/2/07, breached Section 36(1) of the Constitution, and Rules of Fair Hearing. Section 36(1) provides:
“In the determination of his civil rights and obligations including any question or determination by or against any government or authority a person shall be entitled to a fair hearing within a reasonable time by a Court or other tribunal established by law and constituted in such a manner as to secure its independence and impartiality”
The Learned Justice neither manifested independence nor impartiality in performing their judicial functions in the hearing of Election Petition No. CA/A/EP/2/07, having conducted their functions in a manner that is overtly and brazenly inconsistent with fair hearing even in a primitive society which Nigeria is not.
The acts of the Learned Justices upon which the complaints of breach of the Judicial Oath and Section 36(1) of the Constitution are based are hereunder presented relying substantially on the details in the sworn depositions filed in support of this petition or complaint.
3.00 ACTS OF MISCONDUCT PERPETRATED BY THE LEARNED JUSTICES
3.01 DECEIVING THE PETITIONER INTO NOT CALLING ORAL EVIDENCE
The Learned Justices (hereinafter ‘the Panel’) led by Justice James Ogebe as the Presiding Justice dishonestly, and in a manner inimical to their judicial oath, honour, nobility and learning associated with the legal profession of which they are bonafide members applied their judicial power in overtly, with intent to pervert the cause of justice, preventing counsel for the petitioner from presenting oral evidence by calling witnesses in the presentation of his case, and thereafter using the same situation or circumstance foisted on the petitioner by their Lordships to decide against the petitioner in the final judgment.
3.02 FACTS OF THE PREVENTION OF ORAL EVIDENCE
3.02A(i) On 16th October 2007, the Panel made a pre-hearing Order allowing the petitioner to call 150 witnesses and gave him 30 days to do so as requested by counsel and shown in Annexure MA1 in the deposition of Chief M. I. Ahamba SAN filed with this complaint.
(ii) On 23rd October 2007, I, as counsel to the petitioner fielded the petitioner’s PW1, Mr. Emmanuel Iwuamadi in the witness box. Midway in his testimony, the Court rose suo motu, and all lead counsel were invited into Chambers where, after a discussion initiated by Hon. Justice Ogebe that there was no need for oral evidence, it was agreed that oral evidence and cross-examination be dispensed with, and that counsel should tender the certified documents from the Bar, since all the documents were INEC certified official documents. Based on this agreement, the oral evidence-in-chief of PW1 Emmanuel Iwuamadi was discontinued. He was later cross-examined on 24th October, 2007 after the remaining documents he was to tender had been tendered from the Bar. On these two days of hearing, certified election documents from eleven States were admitted as exhibits and given exhibit numbers by Justice Ogebe and his co-Justices. The documents were from Rivers, Taraba, Cross Rivers, Kwara, Akwa Ibom, Osun, Imo, Edo, Bayelsa, Ekiti and Nasarawa States.
(iii) Following developments in other proceedings before some Election Petition Tribunals, which involved some of the counsel for the Respondents in the petition, where documents tendered from the Bar on agreement were rendered nugatory by the tribunals on the ground that they were dumped, I as counsel for the petitioner on 30/10/09 called for another Chamber conference whereat I insisted that the petitioner be allowed to present oral evidence. The panel to my surprise rejected my request, and as a compromise directed me to file my inspection witness depositions. To enable me file the depositions the matter was adjourned from 30/10/07 to 12/11/07 (see Annexures MA6, MA7 and MA8,8(i)-(iii). When on 19/11/07 the same panel rejected the inspection witness depositions, I fielded Salihijo Tahir, the petitioner’s agent at the National Collation Center Abuja. Counsel for the Respondents led by Chief Wole Olanikpekun objected to the presentation of the witness, and a very intense argument verging on altercations ensued during which I had it noted on record that I was being ambushed. In the end, an Order of Court was made as demanded by me as a condition precedent to the withdrawal of the witness, to the effect that oral evidence ‘is unnecessary’ as counsel could address on the documents at the end of the case.
(iv) More details with specific recall of events as they occurred are contained in my sworn deposition and those by Emmanuel Iwuamadi, Salihijo Tahir and Abdulahi Balarabe filed with this complaint, which depositions, I adopt for brevity, together with the accompanying annexures in support of my allegations that the Panel, particularly Justice Ogebe, deliberately prevented my client from calling oral evidence at the hearing for an unjudicial intent and purpose.
(v) After preventing the petitioner from calling oral evidence Justice Fabiyi, in his lead judgment with which the other justices agreed, declined to consider the documentary evidence before the Court in so far as they concerned the petitioner’s case even though he ‘looked at’ them because the petitioner did not call oral evidence before the Court to show how the non-compliances were done. He also held that several paragraphs of the Petition were not proved due to absence of oral evidence while ignoring the documentary evidence before him as if those were not legal evidence. The judgment delivered on 26th February, 2008 has been submitted as Annexure MA11to this complaint. But for ease of reference the following relevant passages therefrom have been copied out to show the damage done to the case of the petitioner by the partisan attitude of their Lordships in using their judicial power to induce a purported lacuna which, as it turned out to be, they required in order to favour Respondents in their judgment.
Passage No. 1:
“In paragraph 9B(iv) and (b), the Petitioner alleges that result sheets were not delivered to States and polling Units. He also alleges that there was no counting of votes and announcement of scores at the various pooling unit (sic) throughout the country, except some few units in some States. The Petitioner led no evidence to establish this averment. Proof of this averment cannot be established by looking at the documentary evidence tendered, see the case of LAWAL Vs UTC PLC (2005) 13 NWLR (pt 943) 601. It can only be established by the direct evidence of these non compliances. (Underlining supplied) (See Annexure MA9)
Passage No. 2:
“The Petitioner tendered result sheets not signed by his agent (sic) but led no evidence to establish why the agents did not sign the result sheets (Underlining supplied) (Annexure MA9)
Passage No. 3:
“The petitioner led no evidence to show that any of these entries relating to the number of ballot papers issued at the polling units, and the number of ballot papers tendered in those units are false. This the Petitioners (sic) agent at the poling units could easily have ascertained” (Underlining supplied) (Annexure MA9)
Passage No. 4:
Finally, the Petitioner averred in paragraph 9B(v) of the petition that Officers and Staff of the 1st Respondent who participated in the election did not affirm to the oath of loyalty and neutrality. Again the petitioner led no evidence to establish this averment. The Respondents denied this averment. There is no evidence led in proof of the averment. (Page 53 of Annexure MA11)
The above are but a few examples. The panel feigned ignorance of Section 76 of the Evidence Act and the common Legal adage that documents speak for themselves.
(vi) The Panel knowing what position they had decided to take had used their collective judicial authority to set up the petitioner for a judgment against him by preventing the calling of witnesses inspite of the Petitioner’s rejection through his counsel of such a procedure, and the clear allegation on record that the Appellant was being ‘ambushed’, even in the face of assurance and reassurance by Justice Ogebe, assurances that eventually proved deceptive and perfidious, that nobody could apply that situation against the Petitioner in that proceeding.
(vii) The Learned Justices by jointly and deliberately putting the petitioner in what they had conjectured was evidential jeopardy, and using the same ‘jeopardy’ against the petitioner before them, have fraudulently committed a gross judicial misconduct, and thus eminently qualified to be adjudged, it is vehemently asserted, to have deliberately perpetrated subversion of justice such as invokes the sanction in Section 292(1)(b) of the Constitution, which is removal from the Judicial Bench.
3.02B REFUSAL TO SIGN SUBPOENA FOR PETITIONER’S WITNESS
The Petitioner through me applied for a subpoena ad duces tecume et Testificandum on Professor Maurice Iwu to testify on behalf of the petitioner. Even though this would appear to be risky on the Petitioner’s case, Justice James Ogebe bluntly refused to sign the subpoena despite written protestations against the curious and unusual position taken by the Presiding Justice, thereby giving Prof. Iwu an unwarranted protection. At his level as Justice of the Court of Appeal justice Ogebe could not safely claim ignorance of the fact that an adversary is a competent witness for a party in a case. Our complaint is that it is not within the province of a neutral or impartial judge to choose for, or block competent witnesses chosen by a party to a suit, a development that puts the entire process of adjudication to ridicule. Unfortunately Justice Ogebe was neither neutral nor impartial. This act, we assert, is a gross judicial misconduct perpetrated by Justice Ogebe in breach of both the judicial Oath and Section 36(1) of the Constitution and qualifies the Learned Justice for sanction under Section 292(1)(b)of the Constitution.
3.02C INTRODUCTION OF NON EXISTENT FACTS INTO THE PROCEEDING AND APPLYING SAME IN THE JUDGMENT AGAINST THE PETITIONER
3.02C(i) It is a fact with which every lawyer is conversant, or presumed to be, that a judex is expected to insulate itself from any act that would reasonably suggest partisanship on its part in any judicial proceeding. It is bad enough when a judge manipulates existing facts on record, or the process itself. But what happened in this case is beyond imagination. The complaint herein is that the panel in this case made up of five Justices herein complained against, introduced non existent facts which are not contained in the record of proceeding as recorded by them, and which never happened in the course of the proceedings, and utilized such infusions in its pre-meditated judgment against the petitioner.
3.02C(ii) At page 25 of the C.T.C of the judgment attached to this petition as Annexure MA11 the Learned Justice stated:
“The Petitioner’s Counsel Chief M. I. Ahamba SAN, had argued that the objection to the admissibility of these deposition ought to have been taken before they were admitted, and having not objected at the material time, the Respondents have waived their right to object to the documents and they cannot be heard to object to it after the documents have been admitted. These documents were admitted by the Court based on clear agreement by the parties that all documentary and material exhibits shall be admitted subject to the right of the opposing party to raise objection to the admissions at a later stage. The petitioner cannot, at this stage resile from this agreement” (Emphasis supplied)
The complaint herein is that apart from the fact that I made no such submission as credited to me therein, no such agreement ever occurred, and none exists on record. The depositions were adopted (not admitted) by order of Court on 19th November, 2007 after a very contentious argument in which I, as petitioner’s counsel insisted on calling the deponents to adopt their depositions, and also calling witnesses who I had by order of Court been allowed to call in proof of the petition. Furthermore if the Justices at their level do not know the difference between a deposition of witness (which is an advance oral evidence), and documentary evidence (which are admitted as exhibits), which lack of knowledge I refuse to accept as likely, that situation constitutes a serious judicial risk in the continued stay of the Justices on the Judicial Bench. I adopt the content of my sworn depositions on this point, and rely on the certified copy of the record of proceedings for that day (19/11/07), Annexure MA9. I challenge the Learned Justices to identify on record on which day the agreement was reached.
3.02C(iii) It is my contention that the Learned Justices ‘invented’ this ‘agreement’ in order to circumvent the argument offered on behalf of the petitioner on the prohibitive provisions in paragraph 49(2) of the First Schedule to the Electoral Act 2006, (now judicially recognized in the case of Agagu Vs Mimiko & Ors (unreported) CA/B/EPT/342A/08 delivered on 23/2/09) which does not allow any party to challenge the validity of a petition or a proceeding therein after the party has taken any further step after being aware of a defect, and the further submission that the Court was functus officio after making the Order of 19/11/07 adopting the depositions.
3.02C(iv) This act of assistance to the Respondents by the Panel, which was aimed at eventually expunging the depositions was very partisan, same having been designed and implemented in aid of the respondents, and thus offends the judicial oath which enjoins honesty, and Section 36(1) which enjoins neutrality and impartiality. This is a judicial misconduct and subversion of justice by the five Justices and qualifies them for sanction under Section 292(1)(b) of the Constitution.
3.02D FRUADULENT SUPPRESSION AND CONCEALMENT OF LEGAL EVIDENCE ON RECORD
3.02D(i) The Supreme court has defined fraud in civil law to include ‘acts omissions and concealments by which an undue and unconscientious advantage is taken of another’ (Adimora V. Ajufo (1988) 4 NWLR (pt 80) 1 @ 13H).
It is my complaint that the judgment delivered by the Learned Justices now complained against was an elaborate fraud carefully hatched by the panel illegally, inequitably, unjudicially and unconscientiously to deprive the Petitioner, my client, of his right to fair consideration of his case by a court constituted in such a manner as to secure its independence and impartiality as shall herein under be shown.
3.02d(ii) At page 50 of the certified copy of the judgment (Annexure MA11) the learned Justice held:
“In conclusion, this petition has been plagued by want of evidence in proof of virtually all the allegations contained therein. Even if I were to accept all the evidence proffered by the petitioner which evidence relates only to four states of the Federation, the Petitioner would still have been unable to establish this petition. Accordingly, this petition is hereby dismissed”(emphasis supplied0
This conclusion is a deliberate falsehood as the Learned Justices cannot claim ignorance of the common truth that evidence may be documentary or oral. But after perfidiously preventing the Petitioner from calling oral evidence, they feigned ignorance that Exhibits are also evidence (documentary) in order to perpetrate the fraud of concealment and suppression of facts ostensibly hiding under the cover of constitutional finality of their judgment since it is not appealable. But finality may cover a judgment, but not the misconduct of those who wrote it, particularly when the misconduct is fraudulently, deliberately, and overtly perpetrated with brazen impunity as in this case. I shall now proceed to expose some of the fraud in the so called conclusion of the judgment of the Panel.
3.02D(iii) Evidence From Four States Only?
This could not be so as the Justices had evidence covering the entire country before them, and did infact acknowledge the existence of documentary evidence beyond the four states alleged. On 23rd and 24th October alone, documents had been admitted as exhibits from eleven (11) States. (See Annexure MA3). The rest from additional 19 States were tendered on 30/10/07, 6/11/07 and 12/11/07. No single documentary evidence was expunged on record or in the judgment by the court; what was expunged were the depositions of witnesses that came from four States. None of them mentioned any of the documents which were assigned exhibit numbers by the panel, as they were not available to the appellant at the time the petition and the depositions were filed. Petition was filed in May, 2007 but document from INEC were released in September, 2007.
Furthermore, in law, a document admitted as exhibit is independent of oral evidence which is extrinsie thereto. This is of common knowledge to trained lawyers experienced ones of which the Justices are.
Consequently the ‘excluded’ depositions of the Petitioner’s witnesses did not and could not have included documentary evidence (exhibits) which the panel indeed utilized when it pleased them to do so, and that is when used against the Petitioners; otherwise Justice Fabiyi could not have written with the concurrence of the others as follows:
“I have looked at the exhibits before me, particularly, Forms EC 25, EC40C, EC40E, which are tendered in their hundreds. Form EC25 is electoral material receipt, Form EC40C is the ballot papers account and verification statement, Form EC40E is the tendered ballot statement. The exhibited forms do show that the ballot papers were indeed not numbered serially. They have however, shown the number of ballot papers issued by the electoral officers to each polling unit, and the numbers tendered in these polling Units”. (Emphasis supplied) (see page 56 of Annexure MA11).(emphasis supplied)
The statement above, clearly shows first, that there were documentary exhibits before the Panel at the time of writing the judgment, secondly, that the Court claimed to have looked at those exhibits, thirdly exhibits were not from four States only, and fourthly, that the Panel only applied what it saw in the documents to the extent of their appearing to be available in aid of the respondents. Otherwise the Exhibits EC25, EC40C and EC40E, if the contents were treated with candour, were enough to find in favour of the petitioner. The Panel needs to explain what became of the Form EC8, series where the ‘results’ for the respective tiers of the process where recorded; after all they were also ‘looked at’. But the Learned Justices fraudulently concealed and suppressed or (as in the Watergate case) ‘stone-walled’ the vital information apparent on the exhibits which Justice Fabiyi and his colleagues ‘looked at’, and which were all, incidentally, tendered by the Petitioner, the respondents having tendered nothing on record save a photocopy of a certificate of return and results from Lagos State about which the Petitioner did not complain. Some examples of this fraudulent concealment of evidence prima facie apparent on the exhibits which robbed the Panel of a legitimate adjudicatory character are hereunder exposed- beginning with those referred to in the quotation above.
3.02D(iv) The Panel maliciously and fraudulent concealed and suppressed the facts on the following exhibits which the Panel agreed were before them, and which were ‘looked at’ by them.
(a) Forms EC25, EC40C and EC40E
Exhibit EP2/A1 was the very first document admitted as undisputed by both sides. See Annexure MA2. The Petitioner relied on this document and quoted excerpts from it in the written address filed on his behalf before the Panel. But in dealing with Forms EC25, EC40C and EC40E, which relate to the delivery of materials to the base of the election pyramid, the Units, the Panel concealed the statutory purport of the forms and the complaint for which they were tendered. The complaint of the petitioner was that most of the forms were not signed by Presiding Officers who should receive and account for election materials issued from the Local Government Area office by the Electoral Officer to the Units at the Units level. It is therefore the Presiding Officers who records and signs the Forms. The praecipe of these forms are at pages 63-66 of Exhibit EP2/A1 (Annexure MA12 hereto). The Panel rested its finding of delivery to Units on the names of the Issuers (Electoral Officers), but concealed the fact that there were no receivers on 90% of the documents. The distribution list from Imo State headquarters of INEC (Exhibit EP2/21E) even shows that only Four(4) L.G.A. Electoral Officers out of twenty seven(27) Local Government Areas signed for materials from the State INEC. The Panel looked at the Exhibit and saw nothing wrong with this, hence they held that materials were issued to the Units. Who collected the materials for the remaining 23 Local Government Areas of Imo State? Maybe this also requires oral evidence from the Petitioner! I shall rely on copies of these ‘delivery’ exhibits using samples from more than four states to show that when the Panel said that there was evidence from only four States ‘which were in any case excluded’, they were engaged in a capricious mendacity because they looked at these Forms and applied them to ‘find’ that election materials were delivered to the Units throughout the country, when the receivers’ signatures are not on the exhibits. It was no longer important that no agent was called to testify on how the documents were made. To the Panel, the legal saying that a document speaks for itself was limited to speaking in favour of the respondents, rightly or wrongly.
(b) Exhibits EP2/B1, EP2/B2/EP2/B3
EP2/B1 is the ‘final’ result announced by the INEC on 23/4/07. Exhibit EP2/B2 and EP2/B3 are purported collated results at the National Collection Centre. The Panel cannot pretend to have been unware of the presence of those exhibits and that they were tendered with the consent of both sides on record and so were undisputed. Even if there was an agreement on delayed objection, it could not have included undisputed documents! Furthermore the judgment mentioned them at pages 38-40 of the Annexure MA11. To drive home the point of concealment and suppression of evidence, part of the reference to those documents by the Panel at the pages mentioned herein acknowledging allegations of fundamental defects ex-facie the documents, are reproduced hereunder:
“Learned counsel submitted that the collation exercise at the National Level was inconclusive and there were two collated results, namely EP2/B2 and EP2/B3 and submitted that these results apart from being inconsistent between the two (sic), also manifest inconsistencies between both EC8D(A)s and the States results Forms EC8Ds, and also between EC8Ds and the EC8E. He also submitted that there are inconsistencies in the state results with Form EC8E… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………Learned counsel then made a graphical presentation of all the inconsistencies explained in the address at page 46a of his address and produced a chart No. 3 where all the final scores of the political parties are presented, both the electronic and manual and submitted that neither EP2/B2 and EP2/B3 is of any legal efficacy not having been produced in accordance of the law and the overwhelming inconsistencies between the statements in the two results and the inclusiveness of the collation exercise. Learned counsel cited and relied on the following cases: ……………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………
Learned counsel also submitted that in the absence of any valid EC8D(A) on record, there was nothing upon which the Form EC8E could stand Exhibit EP2/B1 would naturally collapses (sic) as something which is put on nothing cannot stand, citing MACFOY Vs UAC (1962) AC 152…………………..”
These documents elaborately referred to in the judgment as shown above were never mentioned again or considered in any part of the judgment, even though they constituted a very unassailable point of non compliance. They were also never expunged or controverted by the Respondents on record. Yet the Court concluded that “this petition has been plagued by want of evidence in proof of virtually all the allegations contained therein”, with those documents before them undisputed and uncontroverted.
Furthermore the purported collation officer in Exhibits EP2/B2 and EP2/B3 was a statutorily unauthorized person since the Electoral Act (Section 28(2)(h)) and Exhibit EP2/A1 provide that the collation for Presidential Election must be by the Chief Electoral Commissioner ie the Chairman of INEC who is Professor Iwu and not Prof. Jumare.
It thus becomes clear that the Panel, conscious of the legal consequences naturally arising therefrom, concealed and suppressed those vital exhibits because the Justices knew, being experienced lawyers that:
1. where there are two inconsistent documents on a particular issue in a proceeding from the same source, neither of them may be utilized in that proceeding without any explanation for the inconsistencies;
2. where there is no proved collation, the result in that constituency or electoral level is void, and
3. the documents covered the 36 States and Abuja, not 4 States.
Having done this concealment which obviously, courtesy of the Panel, put the Respondents in an unmerited advantage, the act of the Learned Justices was nothing but judicial fraud which must be sanctioned if the sanctity of institution of the judiciary must be maintained.
(c) Apart form the EC8D(A)s and EC8E referred to under (b) supra there are several other results (EC8 series,) before the Panel amongst what they claimed to have ‘looked at’, and the contents of which could not have escaped the attention of their Lordships, but which they pretended not to have seen after looking at them.
A few examples would expose their brazen bias and fraud against the petitioner:
(i) Exhibit EP2/9A: is the result from Abia State (EC8D). Any unbiased judicial mind, on looking at this document would see that it nullified itself. But the Panel pretended not to have seen it because, INEC nullified 5 Local Government Areas results therein, and these accounted for 504,366 registered voters out of 1,380,539 for the whole State. But the total number of votes alleged to have been validly cast in that election is 323,529 voters ie 180,845 less than the number cancelled. What else was required in law to establish the substantiality of the cancellation of the 5 Local Government Areas out of 17?
(ii) Exhibits from Plateau State show that in many places Unit results (EC8A) were dated 24/4/07, that is post the announcement of result on 23/4/07 (eg EP2/15D173, 172, 170 and 179; EP2/15D 177, 203, 205 etc a total of 30EC8As in one Local Government Area only – KANKE Local Government Areas CODE 08). Just as with ECAs there were similarly dated EC8Bs (Ward Result) in the State (total of 17 Wards). Even results are dated 20/4/07 ie pre-election were on record unchallenged.
Pre-voting and post result exhibits also exist in Rivers State, Akwa Ibom State, Bayelsa State, Oyo State, Osun State, Kwara State amongst others.
The column for party agents in EC8D for Rivers State, for example, was signed by the Police, SSS and Civil Defence only. From Jigawa State came more than fifty EC8As out of ninety Units in one L.G.A. without even Presiding Officers’ names let alone their signatures and those of Party agents. One can go on and on to expose what was in the documents the Panel ‘looked at’ and concealed in the judgment because of the unavoidable consequences that would naturally have resulted therefrom. If this is not fraud against the Petitioner, one does not know what could be.
(c) Voters Registers Not Showing Accreditation
(i) There were thousands of voters registers that showed no accreditation as provided under Exhibit EP2/A1 (Annexure MA12). Some of these exhibit’s numbers and states (samples from 14 States for brevity) are listed in the Schedule Annexure MA4. The documents tendered by the Petitioner were gratuitously listed in pages 5 – 13 of the 5th and 6th Respondents’ Brief. This process is Annexure MA13. Each State shows the number of Voters Registers. Nowhere in the proceeding or judgment was a single voters register expunged. So all of them were present on record while the Panel told the world in their judgment that no evidence was brought before them.
3.02D(v) Deliberate Distortion Of Pleadings
At page 54 of the C.T.C. of the judgment Annexure MA11 the Panel said:
“On the issue of voters register already referred to in this judgment, the Petitioner averred in his pleadings that the 2nd Respondent after the Presidential Election postponed the local Government Council elections in the Country on the ground that there was at that time not existing a valid voters register. This averment was not denied by the 1st and 2nd Respondents. The Petitioner considers this non denial as proof of non-display of the voters register 60 days before the Presidential election. We beg to disagree. We see no nexus between the non-display of voters’ register and the postponement of Local Government elections, and the want of voters register for that election ……..”
The above was a deliberate distortion of the Petitioner’s pleadings in order to avoid the admitted fact of invalid voters’ register admitted by INEC.
In Paragraph 9B(i)C the Petitioner had pleaded:
“The Petitioners state that provisions of Sections 20(1) and 21 of the Act are, to the knowledge of the Respondents conditions precedent to the conduct of a valid election. Evidence shall be led at the hearing of this petition of the postponement of Local Government Council Election throughout the Country by the 2nd Respondent for reason of non existence of a valid Voters Register. The Petitioner shall rely on the Statement of 2nd Respondent after the Presidential Election that effect to the world at large as published……………”
The 1st and 2nd Respondents having admitted the fact upon which the Petitioner relied to prove his case, there was nothing more to prove, and the rationalization by the Panel amounted to descending into the arena in an unjudicial injudicious and undignified manner in aid of the Respondents which amount to the absence of neutrality in all of them, a judicial misconduct.
The above are but a selected few of the brazen acts of dishonesty and bias manifest in the judgment delivered by the Panel on 26th February, 2008 in the Presidential Election Petition. The complaint is not a call for review of the decision or for setting it aside. No. The complaint is against the untoward, unprofessional, immoral and fraudulent conduct of the five Justices who with brazen impunity, breached their Solemn Oath to perform their functions honestly and in accordance with the Constitution and Laws of our dear country.
Their Lordships need to explain when certified true copies of official documents ceased to be documents proveable by mere production as provided in Section 112 of the Evidence Act and decided in the notorious case of Ogbuinynya V. Okudo. I challenge any of the Justices to deny any allegation of fact made in this petition, and request to be given a copy of their responses to these allegations in the name of justice and fair play.
I solemnly but unequivocally pray that the five Justices being no longer fit and proper persons to sit on the Superior Judicial Bench of this Country Nigeria, be sanctioned in accordance with the Law by removal therefrom in other to preserve the dignity of temple of Justice and all those who minister therein. It is my humble pray that all of them be removed from the offices they hold in the Judiciary.
CHIEF MIKE IKENNA AHAMBA, KSC, SAN
No. 14 Mann Street,
E-mail: [email protected]
1. MA1 Proceedings of 16/10/07
2. MA2 Proceedings of 18/10/07
3. MA3 Proceedings of 23/10/07
4. MA4 List of Documents tendered
5. MA5 Proceedings of 24/10/07
6. MA6 Proceedings of 30/10/07
7. MA7 Notes of Proceedings of Justice Fabiyi on 30/10/07
8. MA8, MA8(i) - (ii) Notes of Proceedings of other Justices on
9. MA9 Proceedings on 19/10/07
10. MA10A-C Correspondences on refused subpoena
11. MA11 Judgment delivered on 26/2/08
12. MA12 Exhibit EP2/A1 (Manual)
13. MA13 Pages 2 – 13 of 5th and 6th Respondents’ Brief
Chief M. I. Ahamba KSC, SAN
To: The Chairman,
National Judicial Council,
Supreme Court Complex
Three Arms Zone,