Pastor Umo Eno, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has been declared the duly elected governor of Akwa Ibom State by the Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal.
Senator Bassey Albert Akpan and his Young Progressives Party (YPP) filed a lawsuit, but the court threw it out.
The tribunal presided over by Justice Adekunle Adeleye issued its ruling in the suit with case number EPT/AKW/GOV/01/2023 on January 23, 2019, finding that Eno was thoroughly qualified to run for election despite preliminary objections concerning jurisdiction and the lack of qualification on the part of the 2nd Respondent.
In a lawsuit brought against governor Umo Eno by Akan Okon, the tribunal ruled that the Supreme Court’s prior verdict was binding on all persons and that the petitioners had abused the judicial process by bringing it back up again.
The tribunal also found that the petitioners lacked standing to dispute the manner in which the PDP held its primary election to select a candidate for the general election.
The tribunal also ruled that Eno had not presented a forged WAEC certificate, as the WAEC official who had been subpoenaed as PW10 had authenticated the certificate, and the tribunal noted that there was no law in Nigeria requiring that a person’s name be listed in a specific order on a document, as no other person has any claim to the aforementioned 1981 and 1983 WAEC certificates.
The tribunal also found that Bassey Albert Akpan’s PW16, a man named Daniel Edet Akpan who claimed to work at the University of Uyo, was not who he claimed to be.
The tribunal reports that the witness attended the University of Uyo’s Quantity Survey program beginning in 1998 and finishing in 2021, spending a total of over 22 years on the degree.
The tribunal speculated that he was hiding something and questioned his credibility because he did not know the meaning of CONTISS, had forgotten his phone number, had no idea what his gross salary and take home pay were, and had been in court wearing a mask and fez cap.
All things considered, the tribunal found the appeal to be without merit and upheld Eno’s election as governor of Akwa Ibom State.
Eno’s attorneys have voiced their approval of the verdict and have urged all stakeholders to rally behind the governor in order to advance the state.
Tunde Olaola, petitioners’ attorney, countered that the tribunal wasn’t the final stop because appeals may be filed.