Andy Uba – Resting a Controversial Case

Until the flag-off of the race for the 2007 general elections by politicians, Andy Uba, despite his seemingly limitless influence at Aso Rock, was rarely seen or heard of. But, the circumstances of Thursday, June 14, 2007 in his politically beleaguered home state, which recorded yet another feat, in the negative, threw him up to an anxious crowd.  It was the day his reign as governor was abruptly terminated, making him automatically the first governor with the shortest tenure in Nigeria since the return to democratic rule in May 29, 1999.

However, Uba’s road to Government House, Awka was as controversial as his attempt to twist the hand of law. He had gone to the Supreme Court to persuade it to reverse itself in a judgement that returned Governor Peter Obi and redefined tenureship dilemma that evidently rattled the Bench and Bar. It was, indeed, a novel occurrence.


Yet, after several months of legal fireworks, the justices of the apex court stood their ground and put a seal of finality on Uba’s quest to recapture the state he ruled for just 17 days. The court had earlier scolded the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for conducting elections into the office of governor that was not vacant.


It described Uba’s application as an abuse of judicial process and an attempt to make litigation an endless exercise, contrary to the true position of law.


The Chief Justice of the Federation, Idris Kutigi, who led other justices in a unanimous judgement stated: “I have carefully listened to the submission and arguments canvassed by counsel to all the parties in this application and come to a conclusion that the application is a thorough abuse of the judicial process.

 “It is trite law that there must be an end to litigation. The application therefore fails,” Kutigi affirmed.

As if waiting in the wings, chairman of All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), Victor Umeh, saluted the courage of the court in reaching the decision, saying it was victory for democracy and the judiciary.


“For us as a political party, the ruling of the court will give us reprieve because Andy Uba and his supporters never gave us any breathing space to deliver the dividends of democracy to the people who voted us into power,” Umeh further said.


To All Nigeria Peoples’ Party (ANPP) national publicity secretary, Osita Okechukwu, “the Supreme Court has not only served the course of justice but restored the confidence of the people in the integrity of the institution of Justice.”


Joe Kyari-Gadzama, legal luminary and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), also remarked: “Being the apex court, there must be an end to litigation. That cannot be faulted. The Supreme Court by that judgement has retained its integrity that speaks volumes on the positive side, and I believe that there would be no more distractions for Governor Peter Obi, who would have no excuse but to deliver on his promises to his people.”


Uba, who was Special Assistant to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, has had most of his steps dogged by controversy.


From an alleged case of money laundering in far-flung America, to the scrutiny of his academic qualifications, Uba, according to his critics, has been quite difficult to understand.