Akwa Ibom State Governor, Pastor Umo Eno has urged the Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos to dismiss the appeal brought before it by Senator Bassey Albert Akpan of the Young Progressives Party(YPP ) and uphold the decision of the lower court, which declared him winner of the Governorship election held on March 18 2023 in the state.
The YPP governorship candidate in Akwa Ibom during the last election Senator Basset Albert Akpan had filed an Appeal number CA//C/EP/GOV/AKW/24/2023, filed against the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Governor Umo Eno, and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) asking the court to reverse the decision of the tribunal.
But Umo Eno while reacting to the appeal said that the Governorship Elections Petitions Tribunal in Uyo was right in upholding his victory in the 2023 Governorship elections as Bassey Albert failed to establish his claims of forgery and electoral malpractice.
When the Appeal came up at the Appeal Court, Lagos Division on Monday, the Governor through his Lead Counsel Paul Usoro, SAN, Paul Usoro, SAN, faulted the arguments by the Appellants that the judgement of the Supreme Court in the matter of certificate forgery against the 2nd Respondent by Mr Akan Okon, was different from the certificate forgery case brought before the elections tribunal.
“The Appellants submissions amount to mere sophistry and are entirely erroneous and misconceived”
“that a judgment in rem is a judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction determining the status of a person or things distinct from the particular interest of a party to the litigation.”
Usoro argued that it was legally imperative that there should be an end to litigation, and as such the appellants had no reason to keep belabouring the court over a matter that had been sufficiently resolved at the highest court of the land.
Counsel to the PDP, Tayo Oyetibo, SAN, among other things, argued that even the Ist Appellant, Bassey Albert, presented before the lower court, three documents which bore the arrangement of his name in three different ways, Akpan Albert, Bassey Albert Akpan and Albert Bassey Akpan, yet still claimed ownership of the three documents.
“My lord, their own subpoenaed witness, a senior staff of the University of Uyo came to the court and attested that he was the academic officer who admitted the 2nd Respondent and that he authenticated his documents himself,” he said.