Gov Eno asks Appeal Court to dismiss Akpan’s appeal

Akwa Ibom state governor Pastor Umo Eno has asked the Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos to dismiss the appeal brought before it by Senator Bassey Albert Akpan the governorship candidate of the Young Progressives Party YPP, in the 2023 election.

Eno also asked the Appellate court to uphold the decision of the Governorship Elections Petitions Tribunal in Uyo which had declared him the winner of the Governorship election held on March 18 2023.

This is contained in a statement made available to newsmen on Monday evening, by, Dr Essien Ndueso, the Senior Special Assistant to the governor on Research and Documentation.

In Appeal No CA//C/EP/GOV/AKW/24/2023, filed by Senator Akpan, and his party, against the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Umo Eno, and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, the governor held that the Tribunal was right in upholding his victory in the 2023 Governorship elections after Bassey Albert failed to establish his claims of forgery and electoral malpractice.

Ndueso stated: “When the Appeal came up at the Appeal Court, Lagos Division on Monday, the Governor through his Lead Counsel Paul Usoro, (SAN), faulted the arguments by the Appellants that judgement of the Supreme Court in the matter of certificate forgery against Umo Eno (2nd Respondent), by Mr Akan Okon, was different from the certificate forgery case brought before the elections tribunal.

“Chief Usoro averred that the Appellant’s submissions amount to mere sophistry and are entirely erroneous and misconceived”, adding “that a judgment in rem is a judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction determining the status of a person or things distinct from the particular interest of a party to the litigation.

“My lord, when the court gave the judgment, it decided that the said documents are not forged but belong to the 2nd respondent. It implies that the judgment applies to PDP, INEC, the court, or any establishment for that matter”, said the Counsel to the 2nd defendant.

“Usoro argued further that, it was legally imperative that there should be an end to litigation, and as such the appellants had no reason to keep belabouring the court over a matter that had been sufficiently resolved at the highest court of the land.

“The Appellants, jointly represented by Tunde Falola, held that they were dissatisfied by the ruling and judgement of the tribunal upholding the preliminary objections of the Respondents and dismissing the petition, hence the appeal”

Ndueso added that Counsel to INEC, Kolapo Kolade, SAN, argued that the petitioners never produced either a true owner of the certificate which they claimed did not truly belong to Pastor Umo Eno, and that they never produced any document to buttress their claims of forgery.


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