By Augustine Elochukwu
In 1927, during the presidential election that enthroned the 17th Liberian President, Charles D.B. King, whereas Liberia had 15,000 registered voters at that time, King somehow polled 234,000 votes.
By this miracle, King won the undisputed achievement of being listed in the Guinness Book of Records for the most fraudulent election reported in history.
Today it appears that King’s long standing infamous record is being challenged by the Supreme Court (SC) judgement of January 14, 2020 on Imo State Governorship election of 2019.
I have read the 45 page Judgement three (3) times.
The more I read it, the more I am convinced beyond reasonable doubts that it was a miscarriage of justice.
In an apparent haste to justify an obvious injustice, the judgement even stated a wrong date (8th of March) as the date of the election.
The judgement stated that the 1st appellant polled the highest number of lawful votes and as such set aside the Judgement of the Tribunal and that of Appeal Court which respectively reaffirmed Emeka Ihedioga as the duly elected Governor of Imo state in the March 09, 2019 governorship election. .
As already established, the previous votes declared by INEC which rightfully returned Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha as Governor were lawful and valid votes.
Now SC was deceived by the submission of the over 200, 000 fictitious votes contained in the infamous and mostly phantom 388 polling units, thereby misleading the SC to usurp the powers of INEC by admitting over 100, 000 unlawful votes over and above the number of accredited voters.
These were clearly unlawful votes. SC cannot enshrine a Governor not by actual votes cast but by manufactured votes. This tantamount to miscarriage of justice.
As Akpedeye, SAN submitted in The Vanguard of 14th July, 2016:
“The inherent power of the Supreme Court to set aside its judgment in appropriate cases when; the judgment is obtained by fraud or deceit either on the court or by one or more of the parties.
Such a judgment can be impeached or set aside by means of an action which may be brought without leave, or where the judgment is a nullity. A person affected by an order of court which can properly be described as a nullity is entitled ex debito justitiae to have it set aside, and when it is obvious that the court was misled into giving judgment under a mistaken belief that the parties had consented to it. For example, the case of Johnson v Lawanson (1971) 7 NSCC 82 is regarded as the trail-blazing case in which the Supreme Court exercised the power to overrule itself.
Coker J.S.C. delivering the court’s judgment held that “when the court is faced with the alternative of perpetuating what it is satisfied is an erroneous decision which was reached per incuriam and will, if followed, inflict hardship and injustice upon the generations in the future or of causing temporary disturbances of rights acquired under such a decision, I do not think we shall hesitate to declare the law as we find it.”
In the face of the foregoing, the only right thing to do now is for the SC to follow the precedence of Coker JSC, and reverse this obvious miscarriage of justice and save itself from itself from sharing the ‘spoils’ with the 17th Liberian President in the Guiness Book of records for the most fraudulent elections reported history.