By Uche Amunike
The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has sacked the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governorship candidate in Akwa Ibom state and member of the House of Representatives, Michael Enyong who was declared party’s governorship candidate after a Federal High Court issued a court order to that effect.
After Enyong’s sack, Justice Hamma Barka ordered that Pastor Umo Eno, a former Commissioner for Lands, who was initially declared winner of the primary election held by the party, to be restored, while ordering that Enyong paid N1 million to the Appeal court.
Eno, who is now officially the PDP governorship candidate in the state was earlier nominated by the party, but his nomination was set aside by a Federal High Court in Abuja, January 20, 2023.
The Court of Appeal upheld his party’s appeal and vacated every order made by the Federal High Court judgment in favour of Micheal Enyong, who represents the Uyo Federal Constituency, ordering him to pay the sum of a million Naira to the appeal court for litigation cost.
Counsels to the Peoples Democratic Party, Paul Usoro (SAN) and Uwemedimo Nwoko (SAN), agreed with the Justice that the Federal High Court delivered its judgment in error, having been misled by the plaintiff in the case to arrive at an unjust conclusion.
The court voided the judgment of the Federal High Court on that ground and set it aside, stating that it was predicated based on errors.
Justice Barka further agreed with Usoro that the only body that has the right to conduct primary elections that will produce candidates for general election the National Working Committee of a political party.
According to the appellate court, the issue of statutory delegates voting during their primary election remained an internal affair of the party, which means that the lower court had no business inquiring into the issue, in the first place.
The appeal court further held that the lower court lacked the jurisdiction to inquire into the internal affairs of the party, the judge was not allowed by law to exercise in the matter.
Meanwhile, a PDP Chieftain in Akwa Ibom state, James Iniama has said that some of the candidates of other political parties for the forthcoming elections were mainly aggrieved politicians from the PDP. He did not mention names, but maintained that such party members were merely seeking power for vengeance and not better governance.
Recall that shortly before the PDP Primaries of the May 2022 election, the PDP governorship candidate of the Young Progressives Party (YPP), Senator Bassey Akpan and that of the APC, Obong Akanimo Udofia were party flag bearers until they moved to other parties to get tickets.
At the zonal stakeholders meeting of the East Itam Northern, held, Sunday, at the prompting of the House of Representatives candidate for Itu Federal Constituency, Barrister Ime Okon, the party chieftain made a call to members to eschew political prostitution and be committed to the party in order to get better democratic experiences.
His words: ‘The truth is that candidates of other parties in the federal constituency and indeed the state, are aggrieved politicians who were made in PDP, such persons are looking for power for vengeance and not better governance.’