1 Usani v. Duke [2006] 17 NWLR (Pt.1009)610
Nigerian Coat of Arms
In The Court of Appeal
(Calabar Judicial Division)
On Thursday, the 15th day of December, 2005
Suit No: CA/C/CRS/GOV/EPA/61/2005
DONALD DUKE & 23 ORS Respondents

This case boders on an election petition in respect of the National Assembly/Governorship and Legislative Houses Election pending. The petition was in respect of the Governorship election of the Cross River State held on the 19th of April, 2003 at the Election Tribunal sitting at Calabar hereinafter referred to as the lower tribunal.

That petition was actually filed by one Usani Uguru Usani who contested the same Governorship election under the platform of New Democrats (N.D.) and lost. He contested together with Mr. Donald Duke who contested under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Pm1y (P.D.F.) At the close of the Election, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Mr. Donald Duke the winner of the said election. The petitioner in that Tribunal insisted that the respondents were wrong in returning Mr. Donald Duke at the said election since he, the 1st respondent, was not qualified to even contest the said election. The petitioner, consistently claimed to have a right to be returned or elected at the said election.

At the tribunal it was seen that the petitioner having led no evidence to show that the 1st respondent was unqualified to contest the 19th April, 2003 elections, the petitioner having failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt the allegation of irregularities and corrupt practices allegedly perpetrated by the respondents and failure to prove any non-compliance with the provision of the Electoral Act is fatal. The implication of what we have been saying is that the lone issue raised is hereby resolved against the petitioner. The petition for all we have said having failed, it is hereby dismissed.

The petitioner being aggrieved by the above decision appealed to this court on a notice of appeal containing four grounds of appeal filed on 26th May, 2005.

On appeal it was held that this appeal completely lacks merit. Same is hereby dismissed.

For the avoidance of any possible doubt the appeal fails. The decision of the lower tribunal is un-assailable and correct in law. Appeal lacks merit and same is dismissed. The Executive Governor of Cross River State Mr. Donald Etim Duke shall remain the elected governor. The 2nd - 21st and 24th respondents' action in returning him as elected was in order and correct. There shall be an end to litigation. Cost of Ten Thousand Naira was awarded in favour of all the respondents including the Executive Governor.

Tony Ukam For the Appelants
Chief Wole Olanipekun(SAN)( with him
N. A Nta and A. A Malik ) for the 1st Respondent
Osaze Uzi Esq (with him I.K Bawa and P. A Gwazai Esq for the 2nd -22nd and 24th Respondent)
For the Respondents