OpinionOPINION: Petition Tribunals: Matters Arising

OPINION: Petition Tribunals: Matters Arising




Mehmet Murat’s postulations on bad politicians profoundly identified two kinds of politicians on earth: Those who expand freedom and those who restrict them. The second group, he said, has no chance to triumph and they will always be remembered as spooky characters from a horror movie.

The governorship candidate of the Young Progressives Party (YPP) in the 2023 General Election fits the bill.

These characters, whose cookies are crumbling, are fighting tooth and nail to dethrone the sovereign will of the people. Having failed at the polls where every credible opportunity was provided every candidate to test their strength in preference and popularity, they are now looking for a crooked means to impose themselves on the people.


The YPP and its governorship candidate in Akwa Ibom State, Bassey Albert, are alleging that the West African School Certificate of the governor-elect, Pastor Umo Eno, was not only forged but also formed the basis for his expulsion from the University of Uyo.

Interestingly, the party and its candidate have no dispute concerning the result of the election and how they lost in 29 local government areas of the state and won in only two, Ibiono and Ikono , after all the cracked up popularity.

Prior to the election, Pastor Umo Eno’s WAEC certificate was the subject of a long- drawn litigation up to the Supreme Court. At every level of the battle it was proven that his certificates are not only authentic but original.

Left for the oral evidence and testimonies alone, it probably would have been difficult to determine the truth of the matter. But the court in its wisdom was able to unravel every material fact through a subpoena to the West African Examinations Council (WAEC).

Incontrovertibly, the examination body authenticated Umo Eno’s certificates from their official register. The YPP and its candidate, including members of the public, are aware of the Supreme Court judgement on this matter, especially due to the wider publicity that the matter attained. And, in cognizance of this, the YPP’s candidate is trying to pull off a leprechaun of sorts.

Even as a layman, no one can deny the fact that the supreme court is the highest court in the country whose decisions and pronouncements – whether on individual rights or national issues – are binding on every person and authorities operating in the land.

Once the Supreme Court proclaims the authenticity of Pastor Umo Eno’s certificates, it behoves every other court, tribunal, etc, to abide by it. No other court is vested with the authority to deliberate on or determine a matter already resolved by the highest court in Nigeria.

As it is the norm, resolutions of the supreme court become policies and are referenced as precedents which are treated like covenants.

However, weighed from the angle of its merit, the plaintiff, as is customary, is vested with the burden of proof. And this could be a tall order. If you allege that Pastor Umo Eno was expelled from the university, there must be a reason for such expulsion. So, on what basis was he expelled and how would that affect his nomination?

Secondly, the person you claim to have been expelled already has a Masters degree in his bag and is on the verge of being bestowed with a Doctorate (Ph.D). How did he achieve all these from the same university under expulsion? As it is, whoever feels he’s got a scrape to ride through to conquest will soon discover that he’s on a wild goose chase.

Desperation by those who are bent on staying perpetually on the high end is always driving our politicians into madness. But the result should serve as a befitting answer to any candidate who failed an election that he has been rejected by the people he expected to serve.

Beyond that, it would have been reasonable if the YPP candidate complained about the process of the election than the credentials of the opponent. After the election, the message of the electorate appears to be like, ‘whether Umo Eno has WAEC or not, he is our choice ‘. The people have stated in clear terms that they are tired of politicians who curtail their freedom, those who employ maximum force, coercion and intimidation to grab power.

The message is simple : those who restrict freedom has no chance to triumph anymore. Just like WAEC, the university will speak for themselves and the truth will always come to light. Those who think they can blackmail and browbeat Uniuyo officials will face their music.

Written by Emmanuel Ndon

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