The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja, on Thursday, affirmed Umo Eno as the Governorship Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for Akwa Ibom State in the forthcoming March 11, 2023 election.
The three-man panel of the Court dismissed the appeal (Suit No: CA/C/369/2022) filed by an aggrieved gubernatorial aspirant, Akan Ekpe Okon against the respondents: PDP, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Umo Eno.
The court berated the petitioner: It said it was funny that the appellant who was not a member of the group nor a staff of WAEC yet present a document purportedly issued to the group as evidence in court.
The court also upheld the decision of the lower court to ignore the forensic expert.
The court also held that the lower court was right to have accepted the evidences of subpoenaed witnesses without allowing them to testify.
Mr Okon participated in the PDP Primary in May but got only three votes, while Mr Eno had 993 votes from the 1, 018 delegates accredited for the exercise.
Mr. Eno is the preferred Candidate of the outgoing Governor, Udom Emmanuel.
The appellant, Okon, alleged that Mr Eno presented a forged voter’s card and two forged WAEC certificates of 1981 and 1983.
Mr Okon also stated that the PDP screening committee cleared Mr Eno in error to participate in the 25 May governorship primary.
He also claimed that Mr Eno altered his date of birth resulting in three different dates of birth – 24/25 April 1964 and 1 January 1964.
Recall that Justice Agatha Anulika Okeke of the Uyo Federal High Court, in November 2022, upheld the candidacy of Umo Eno, awarded a sum of N15 million as cost against the petitioner and further dismissed the suit.
Unsurprisingly dissatisfied with the outcome, he approached the higher Court for reprieve.
The Appeal Court dismissed the Appeal filed by Akan Okon but reduced the fine of 15m to N5m.