By Uche Amunike
The ongoing trial of the candidate of the Akwa Ibom State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Pastor Umo Eno court case at the Federal High Court, Uyo, against Akan Okon has been further delayed as the lead counsel to the accused, Paul Usoro (SAN) asked for leave of court to take care of his health challenges.
Paul Usoro asked that the case be adjourned because of reasons of his ill health, stating that he needed a period of one month to take care of himself .
To this plea, Judge Usoro did not grant his permission, but rather, gave him leave for two weeks, thereby adjourning the case to September 12.
Recall that what led to the Umo Eno court case was that one of the gubernatorial aspirants of the PDP, Akan Okon, dragged the winner of the party’s primary election, Umo Eno as well as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to court, with claims that Umo Eno forged his West African Examination Certificate and other documents.
Akan Okon, in Suit No FHC/UY/CS/110/2022, alleged that Eno Umo forged his WAEC and Age Declaration certificates and therefore urged the court to hand him the party ticket as the next candidate with the highest scores after Umo, in the election.
On the day of the Umo Eno Court case, however, when it was heard on Monday August 29, Akan Okon demanded the leave of court to amend his originating processes in the suit, including his statement of claims, written statement on oath, write of summons, list of witnesses and list of documents.
Aside from the aforementioned, Okon also got a new lawyer who had been in the saddle before now, Okey Amaechi (SAN), to lead in the case ahead of Uche Awa (SAN).
Okey Amaechi (SAN), went ahead to file the motion and further sought that the court should grant him leave to amend his first reply to the first and second defendants’ Statement and all accompanying processes.
In reaction, Paul Usoro (SAN) who is the counsel to the 1st and 2nd respondents stated that he would need time to study the newly served fresh amended processes before responding.
Counsel to the defendants, Uwemedimo Nwoko (SAN) also informed Newsmen, shortly after the proceedings, of their intention to carefully study the newly introduced processes by the plaintiff, assuring that they had no problems whatsoever with the amendments.
Recall that the court struck off an application by another governorship candidate of the May 25, 2022 primary election, Mr Aniekan Akan Etim, during its last sitting, describing it as lacking in merit.
The judge, Justice Agatha Okeke, yielded to the submissions of the plaintiffs and the 1st and 2nd defendants in her ruling, thereby dismissing Mr Aniekan Akan Etim’s application.
Etim Akan re-appeared for another stay of proceedings, pending the outcome of his appeal at the appellate court, challenging the refusal of the lower court to join him in the case as a defendant.
This was however, dismissed by the court which stated that there was no pending appeal at the appellate court by the defendant.