Ewa versus Eteng: Coalition Calls On Court Of Appeal To Look Into Some Tribunal Judgement In Cross River State



Sunday, September 10, 2023

In the last few days, the Tribunals across the country have been delivering their judgments on State and National Assembly Elections Petitions with some mixed feelings.

Cross River State National Assembly Elections Petition Tribunal have become a case study based on some judgments they have delivered so far.

The Panel headed by Justice O. A. Adeniyi is the case in point. Justice Adeniyi presidered over the petition with Suit No. EPT/CR/SEN/01/2023 between Mr. Bassey Eko Ewah of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Hon. William Jonas Eteng of All Progressives Congress (APC).

Ewa had sought a declaration that the Ist respondent (Eteng Williams) did not score majority of lawful votes and thus not duly elected and returned.

Delivering judgment on Friday, September 8,2023, the Honourable Justice Adeniyi, upheld the election of the All Progressives Congress (APC) senatorial candidate, Senator Eteng Jonas Williams.

The tribunal headed by Justice O. A. Adeniyi said Senator Eteng won the February 25, 2023 general elections after recomputing the scores of the elections.

Bassey Ewa through his counsel, Mba Ukweni, SAN in suit number EPT/CR/SEN/01/2023 sought a declaration that the Ist respondent (Eteng Williams) did not score majority of lawful votes and thus not duly elected and returned.

He also sought relief among others from the court cancelling votes of all the parties in about 96 polling units spread across the central senatorial district where there was clear evidence of over voting as well as re-computation of votes in the ventral senatorial district and declaration of the first petitioner as winner of the election.

However, in a three hour judgment, Justice O. A. Adeniyi said the petitioner was able to establish cases of over-voting in only 49 polling units in the central senatorial district out of the 96 it claimed.

In all the 49 affected polling units, the APC lost 3, 969 votes while the PDP lost 2, 066 votes.

The recomputed results showed that the APC retained its victory by garnering 53, 375 votes while the PDP retained it’s runner’s up position with 51, 387 votes, thereby declaring Eteng winner.

But we are alarmed at the way and manner the Panel chairman handled the case, wondering why a matter that judgment was reserved a month ago should be read from the Palm top instead of it being typed, printed out in clean copy and signed by the panel members.

We wish to state that we followed the Tribunal proceedings untill August 3, 2023 when the final written addresses by the both parties to the suit were adopted. And the Justice decided to keep the judgement for almost a month before delivering judgment.

We also alarmed at manner Justice Adeniyi singled handed selected 49 polling units out of the 96 and those selected for re-computing are polling units where PDP had majority of votes, leaving out polling units APC had an advantage in terms of over-voting to give a semblance of balance.

We express shock that the Tribunal chairman read the judgement from his palm top and is yet to make a available a signed copy of the judgement three days after delivering the judgment even as we have it on grape vine that the other members of the panel had dissociated themselves from the said-judgment.

We also gathered that the outcome of the judgement was already made available to Eteng’s as they were in jubilation mood before the final reading of the judgement, an indication that money had allegedly exchanged hands.

We wish to also disclose that the same Adeniyi was here in Cross River in the 2019 Election Petitions Tribunal and he was again sent to the same Cross River State in 2023 Tribunal. In other words, Justice Adeniyi is on a familiar terrain and may have been brought here to do a hatchet job for his pay masters in Calabar.

We, therefore would want to ask: Is Adeniyi the only Justice that should always be sent to Calabar at every Election Tribunal period? Why is his cases always controversial? Why has he refused to make available the Certified True Copy (CTC) of the judgement almost four days after even when he promised to make it available the following day, Saturday, September 9, 2023?

Based on these issues raised above, we call on the President of Court of Appeal to look into the matter and the Tribunal cases being handled by Justice Adeniyi and ensure that justice is done and seem to have been done in this case.

The above case between Hon. Bassey Eko Ewah and Hon. Williams Jonas Eteng should be properly looked and enjoin the Lordship to adopt the same criterion used in cancelling the other 49 polling units to do same with the other 50 polling units he largely ignored.

Thank You

Comrade Ikpi E. Ikpi

Comrade John Agbor


Development Consultant, Writer, Editor-In-Chief/Publisher @theluminenews.com, Public/ Motivational Speaker, Public Affairs Analyst/Commentator, Social Mobilizer of high repute.

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