A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, Uwemedimo Nwoko has accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of forging the judgment of a Federal High Court which declared Michael Enyong the lawful governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Akwa Ibom State.
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The Senior Lawyer specifically alleged that the electoral body fraudulently imported strange words into the judgment delivered by Justice Fatima Murtala Aminu in a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1295/2022 delivered on 20 January 2023 in Abuja to favor a particular candidate.
Nwoko who made the revelation on Monday at the Court of Appeal in Abuja after the day’s proceedings, explained that the electoral body in a letter to the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] twisted the judgment of Justice Aminu to the effect that the Court found as a fact that INEC monitored the primary election that produced Michael Enyong.
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The letter dated February 1, 2023, with Reference Number INEC/LD&C/C&J/2022/T/359 was authored by INEC Secretary, Rose Oriaran-Anthony and was entitled Re: Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/1295/2022 between Hon. Michael Enyong vs INEC and others.
The INEC Secretary had in the letter quoted the judgment as ordering the electoral body to recognize and publish the name and details of Enyong as the lawful candidate validly sponsored by the PDP, having emerged the winner of the party’s primary election of May 25, 2022 “monitored by INEC for the Akwa Ibom State gubernatorial elections”.
However, the Senior Lawyer who exhibited certified true copies of the judgment said there was nowhere in the judgment that the issue of monitoring the primary election by INEC was mentioned.
He said that a petition had already been written to the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahood Yakubu protesting the importation of strange words into the judgment and to get those who twisted the judgment for fraudulent reasons fished out for punishment.
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Nwoko represented Mr. Umo Eno who is contesting the governorship ticket with Enyong.
He expressed optimism that justice will be done in the alleged judgment forgery.
At Monday’s proceedings, counsel to Enyong, Seperibo Peters sought to move an application to stay proceedings in the matter before a Federal High Court later withdrew the application following the discovery that an appeal had been entered at the Court of Appeal in Abuja in respect of the same matter.
Justice Olubunmi Oyewole who presided over a three-man panel of the Appellate Court in a short ruling on the withdrawal of the application subsequently struck it out.
Meanwhile, no date has been fixed for the hearing of the appeal challenging the Federal High Court judgment that recognized Michael Enyong as the PDP gubernatorial candidate.