Court Sacks Umo Eno As Akwa Ibom PDP Guber Candidate
A Federal High Court in Abuja has nullified the primary election that produced Umo Eno as the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Akwa Ibom State.
In a judgment delivered on January 20, Justice Fatima Aminu ordered the PDP to submit the name of Michael Enyong to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as its candidate.
In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1295/2022 filed in August, Enyong had submitted that he won the party’s primaries conducted on May 25, 2022.
He had referred the court to an order by Justice Obiora Egwuatu of the Federal High Court, on May 18 in suit FHC/ABJ/CS/606/2022 which restrained the PDP from utilizing its list of ad-hoc delegates to conducting its gubernatorial primary election in Akwa Ibom, pending the determination of the substantive suit.
Enyong stated that he emerged winner of the indirect primary election scoring 2,448 out of the 2,776 total accredited votes.
But he said the party refused to submit his name to INEC as the governorship flagbearer which informed his decision to seek legal redress.
While INEC maintained a neutral stance in the matter, the 2nd defendant (PDP) never put in an appearance despite the proof of being served with the originating summons and all other processes.
Delivering the judgment, the judge held that Enyong has been able to prove his case beyond a reasonable doubt with substantial evidence.
Justice Aminu held that the plaintiff is hereby declared the validly nominated gubernatorial candidate of the PDP having emerged winner of the conducted primary election in Akwa Ibom state for the forthcoming 2023 general elections held on May 25th, 2022.
The judge ruled that any other governorship primary election held after the valid election of the 25th day of May 2022, has no basis in law, and is hereby declared null, void, and of no effect together with its outcome.
Justice Aminu also ordered the PDP to submit and present the name and details of Enyong to INEC as its rightful candidate.
The judge added that INEC is to accord Enyong recognition, issue him a nomination form or publish his name as PDP’s Akwa Ibom state gubernatorial candidate for the forthcoming 2023 general elections.