Forgery case against Akwa Ibom governorship candidate begins

More forgery allegation has been levelled against the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Akwa Ibom State, Umo Eno.

Eno was dragged to court by Akan Okon, a contestant in the May 25 PDP governorship primary, over allegations that he (Eno) is parading forged WAEC certificate in his bid to actualise his governorship ambition.

Okon, in an amended Statement of Claim, further alleged that Eno forged his date of birth for the purpose of undergoing a postgraduate programme.

“While completing form for postgraduate course, the 2nd Defendant presented birth certificate claiming to have been issued at Ikeja Local Government, Ikeja, Lagos State, to his parents. The said birth certificate indicates that he was born on 24th day of April, 1961.

“The Plaintiff shall rely on the postgraduate student information form completed by the 2nd Defendant to the University of Uyo Postgraduate School,” Okon said.

Besides the revelation that the PDP candidate is using two different births certificate, he also has two states of birth, with 24/4/64 showing that Eno was born in Enugu state; his second birth certificate 24/4/61 indicated that he was born in Lagos State. To add to that, the expert report showed that the handlers of Umo Eno had cloned the WAEC website where they had diverted Umo Eno’s purported results.

In his earlier Statement of Defence, Eno had denied the allegation that he is parading credentials with conflicting dates of birth.

“I unerringly deny and counter the allegation that “the 2nd Defendant forged his date of birth and…gave conflicting dates as his date of birth”. I was born on 24 April 1964 and have maintained this date of birth in all my records, documentation, and representations however,” Eno had stated.

However, we can authoritatively report that from the proceedings in court on Wednesday, the latest allegation by Okon unsettled Eno’s legal team.

Apart from the plethora of alleged forgery allegations against him, latest revelations show that Umo Eno lied under oath to the court that he has never put forward any other date of birth or certificate showing any date other than 24th April 1964, whereas he had supplied UNIUYO and NYSC with another birth date with a birth certificate showing 24th April 1961.

The case which was slated for hearing came up Wednesday in court, and after being served with Okon’s Amended Court Processes, Defence Counsel to Umo Eno told the court that they will not object but will reserve their objection and will take it alongside their preliminary objection due to lack of time.

The Court informed Counsel to Umo Eno that not objecting to the motion for amendment and also reserving their objection cannot go side by side, warning the legal team not to mislead the court and go ahead with the case.

Paul Usoro SAN, the lead counsel to Eno, requested for enough time to reply to the amended processes and also request that he has to go for medical checkup.

In response, the Court told Usoro that the matter before the Court is a Pre election matter so it is time bound.

In addition, counsel to Okon also told the court that since it is just a consequential amendment, it does not need the statutory time to reply as only a paragraph in the writ of summons that was tampered with and then additional witness statement on oath, adding that if Paul Usoro wants to go for medical checkup, there are other learned Senior Advocates in their team to continue with the hearing.

The Court gave Eno’s counsel seven days to reply to the amended statement and then two days to Okon’s counsel to put in their response if any.

With the pleadings of Eno’s lead counsel, Paul Usoro who is just one of the seven SANs hired by Umo Eno for more time, the amendments of Akan may have terrified his team to seek more time to scout for a way to respond to the facts presented by Akan Okon

The case was adjourned to the 12th of September, 2022 for day to day hearing.