Akwa Ibom: Tribunal Affirms Gov Umo Eno's Victory, Dismisses YPP's Suit

Akwa Ibom: Tribunal Affirms Gov Umo Eno’s Victory, Dismisses YPP’s Suit

Elections Petition Tribunal sitting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital on Friday September 29, 2023 upheld the election of Pastor Umo Eno of the Peoples Democratic Party, as the validly elected Governor of the state and dismissed the suit instituted by Senator Bassey Albert Akpan and his party, Young Progressives Party, which challenged the election of the Akwa Ibom State Governor in the suit Number EPT/AKW/GOV/01/2023.

The Tribunal Judge, Justice Adekunle Adeleye in his judgement upheld the preliminary objections bothering on jurisdiction and non qualification of the 2nd Respondent, and declared that Pastor Umo Eno was eminently qualified and that the earlier judgement of the Supreme Court in the case filed against him by Mr Akan Ekpe Okon was binding to all human beings, in the world, including the petitioners.

The Tribunal fumed at the petitioners for abuse of judicial process in resurrecting the case of certificate forgery against govwrnor Eno already thrashed by the Apex Court.

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Tribunal further ruled “WAEC did not disclaim the 1981 and 1983 WAEC certificates of pastor Umo Eno, without a disclaimer by the issuing authority, the certificates remain valid.

“In the absence of any other person holding claims to the said 1981 and 1983 WAEC certificates, I hold that the certificates belong to the 2nd Respondent.”

“Even the 1st Petitioner himself told the court he was a victim of the same issue as three documents bearing his name tendered as exhibits before the tribunal carried different arrangements of his name, Albert Bassey, Akpan Bassey Albert and Bassey Albert Akpan. This is a case of a pot calling a kettle black,”

The tribunal also dismissed the testimonies of APC wards and local governments collation agents who were paraded as witnesses of the petitioners as their testimonies were speculative and mere heresy.

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The tribunal ruled that a witness PW16, one Daniel Edet Akpan presented by Bassey Albert Akpan, as a staff of the University of Uyo, was in fact a liar.

According to the tribunal, the witness claimed to have been admitted as a student of Quantity Survey of the University of Uyo in 1998 and graduated in 2021, spending over 22 years for the course.

The tribunal also wondered how a senior staff of a university, could not know the meaning of CONTISS, could not remember his telephone number, did know his gross salary and take home pay and came to the court with mask and fez cap, an indication that he was hiding something.

In summarizing its decision, the tribunal further adjudged that 2nd Respondent’s witness RW1, Uwem Okoko, tendered all the local government results of the election and none was objected by the petitioner, hence the decision of the tribunal to uphold same.

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On the whole, the tribunal dismissed Bassey Albert’s petition as frivolous and baseless and ratified the election of Pastor Umo Eno as Governor of Akwa Ibom State.

Meanwhile, Counsel to petitioners, Tunde Olaola said the tribunal is not the final bus stop as there was room for appeal by his client.