The Federal High Court sitting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital, has adjourned the alleged certificate forgery case against the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Pastor Umo Eno, to November 28 for final judgement.
Akan Okon, a governorship aspirant of PDP has sought the disqualification of the governorship candidate, Pastor Eno, on the basis of alleged fake 1981 and 1983 WAEC results, falsified birth certificate and fake voter’s card.
The presiding judge, Justice Agatha Okeke, made the adjournment on Friday, after adopting the joint final written address by Counsel to the defendants, Paul Usoro, SAN.
In his submission, the defence counsel, Usoro urged the Court in Uyo to dismiss and trash the suit filed against the Governorship candidate by Mr Akan Okon, describing it as “frivolous, tendentious and wholly speculative.”
He sought that a substantive cost be awarded against the plaintiff, Mr Okon saying that he has “failed to prove any iota of his allegations against the 2nd Defendant and as such does not deserve a favourable outcome.”
He further argued that “Pastor Eno, in all respects, is qualified to fly the party’s flag in the governorship elections, having scored the highest votes of 993 and also possessing the constitutional qualifications for the office.”
Describing the suit as an abuse of court process, he maintained that the court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the suit and prayed all the reliefs sought by the plaintiff be denied.
He also referred the court to the preliminary objections contained in the 1st and 2nd defendants joint written address that the court lacked jurisdiction on the matter which was supported by a six-paragraph affidavit sworn to by one of the counsel to the defendants, Felix Orok.
Paul Usoro, SAN also adopted the 1st and 2nd defendants’ written address on objections to 12 exhibits tendered by the plaintiff and provisionally admitted by the court.
He argued that to save the time of the court, they decided to limit the objections to five of the 12 exhibits.
“The exhibits P2 and P3 which were the forensic reports and ancillary documents prepared by the plaintiff’s first witness.”
Exhibit P10, he reasoned, is a University of Uyo students information document and the Exhibit P17 is the purported letter from WAEC to AADN, with Exhibit D10 being the computer generated document tendered by the plaintiff through the 3rd witness of the defendants as a document of the West African Examination Council.
He said that the objection is based on the provisions of the Evidence Act,2011 and urged the court to reject the admission of the five Exhibits, P2,P3, P10, P17 and D10.
Meanwhile the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has announced that Pastor Umo Eno is a genuinely registered voter who is eligible to vote and be voted for, in any election in Nigeria.
On the argument by the plaintiff that INEC had refused to oblige him of the voter’s register to confirm if Pastor Umo Eno was a registered voter, the counsel to INEC, Emmanuel Eze, said the 3rd defendant, argued that the plaintiff never applied formally to the State Resident Commissioner of INEC.
Okey Amaechi, SAN who appeared for the plaintiff, held that PDP failed to comply with the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022 as well as its guidelines for the governorship primaries in nominating the 2nd defendant as its candidate.
The plaintiff, among other things, also reasoned that since the 1st and 2nd Witnesses of the defendants were sworn and testified on Subpoena Duces tecum, and were not cross examined, their evidence should be discarded.
Akan Okon vs Umo Eno: Court to deliver judgement November 28