I am worried, as an activist whose duty includes helping the lay people to understand elementary laws which is a form of curing ignorance of the law and setting the captives free, I wish to through light into the real reason Mr. Akan Okon is back in supreme court over the pre-election matter in suit no. FHC/UY/CS/110/ 2022 Akan Okon v. PDP and others.
It is now stale news that the Court of Appeal Abuja Division in Appeal No. CA/C/396/2023 and the Supreme Court in Appeal no. SC/CV/182/2023 had since discharged the appeal affirming the decision of the trial Federal High Court Uyo, dismissing the suit for lacking in merit.
Recall that one of Akan Okon’s grounds of appeal in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court was that the learned trial judge, His Lordship, Justice Agatha Okeke, did not evaluate the evidence on record to have arrived at her Judgment dismissing. Those evidence on record complained of included the EXHIBITS on record.
THE GREAT DISCOVERY.
It was discovered lately that the Federal High Court, Uyo registry failed, neglected and refused to forward the EXHIBITS on record to the court of appeal Calabar, after counsels to both parties had settled the records to be so transmitted.
The court of appeal Calabar Division, on that note, did not transfer EXHIBITS to the Court of Appeal Abuja Division which heard the appeal. The Abuja division of the Court of Appeal went ahead to hear the appeal without opportunity to reevaluate the entire evidence (EXHIBITS) on record which is the duty of the first appellate court, which failure to see and evaluate the Exhibits on record occasioned miscarriage of justice in its Judgment delivered on 19 January 2023.
It was only on 6th February 2023 that Exhibits on record were transmitted to the court of appeal 3 weeks after Judgment!
The supreme court unbeknownst, affirmed the perverse Judgment of the court of appeal dismissing the appeal with 5 million naira cost against the Application, Mr. Akan Okon.
This was against the clear provisions of Order 7 rule 2(d) of the Supreme Court Rules which provides that all relevant EXHIBITS must be transmitted to the appellate court. It is also a fundamental principle of substantive and adjectival law that an appellate court’s duty is to reevaluate the entire evidence (including EXHIBITS) on record to arrive at a just decision.
In the absence of no evidence to reevaluate, the entire Judgment becomes a nullity. And where the supreme court per incarium or inadvertently affirmed a null Judgment of the court below, it is ground to recall the case and set it aside. See Barrister Oriker Jev & Ors. v. Iyortom & Ors.  NWLR (Pt. 1483) 484, Olorunfemi v. Asho (1999) (unreported)
It is settled law that the supreme court has the powers by inherent Jurisdiction conferred on it by section 6(6)(a) of the Nigeria constitution 1999 (as altered), to revisit its previous decision, rehear it, and reverse the decision if found perverse and that injustice had been occasioned thereby. See Oriker Jev (supra).
Failure to transmit the EXHIBITS to the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court also violates Mr Akan Okon’s inherent human rights of Audi Alterem partem secured under section 36 (1) of the Nigerian constitution. It is trite law that any judicial decision taken in violation of the Audi Alterem rule is illegal, null and void, and ex debito justitiae liable to be set aside. See Peterside V. IMB (Nig.) Ltd, (1993)2 NWLR (Pt. 278) 712.
Section 22 of the Supreme Court Act (hereinafter, the Act), empowers the apex court to rehear a case afresh as if it is the trial court where it deems that the courts below did not do justice in the matter.
Hence, Mr. Akan Okon’s Application has been assigned to a different set of the panel of Judges of the supreme court to rehear it as if de Novo, under section 22 of the Act.
Any other narrative about this case is the usual propaganda with elements of African owl hooting.
©Manfred Ekpe Esq.