The Court of Appeal, sitting in Abuja has invalidated the candidacy of Michael Enyong as the Governorship Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Akwa Ibom State.
Enyong had on August 1, 2022 in Suit No: FHC/ ABJ/CS/1295/2022 dragged the INEC and PDP (1st & 2nd defendants) to Court for refusing to recognise him as the Candidate of the Party.
Enyong, a serving PDP House of Reps member representing Uyo Federal Constituency was declared Candidate of the Party by a January 20, 2023 Federal High Court judgement which subsequently saw him so recognised by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Unsurprisingly dismayed by the judgement, the PDP filed an Appeal before the penultimate Court seeking redress, and praying the Court to inter alia recognise Pastor Umo Eno as its authentic Candidate for the March 11, 2023 election.
In the said appeal, the PDP had argued that the Court lacked jurisdiction with the suit having been filed past 14 days after the cause of action. The Party also argued that they were not served and hence didn’t enter appearances.
In its ruling in Suit No: CA/ABJ/CV 120/2023 between PDP v. Michael Enyong & INEC; Justice Hamma Akawu Barka JCA who read the lead judgement noted that the court is bound by its own decision.
The Court noted that the Appeal court had previously entertained cases emanating from Akwa Ibom State and had previously resolved the issue on the use of delegates in Akwa Ibom State.
In allowing the appeal, it noted that the lower court was totally misguided by Hon Michael Enyong and had no jurisdiction to have re-visited the issue of primaries and the authenticity of its candidate.
It ruled that the lower court was wrong to rely on lack of evidence from PDP in declaring Enyong as candidate. It declared that the lower court was totally wrong and acted per incuriam.
Justice Barka JCA further warned politicians and lawyers to avoid abuse of court processes
The court awarded N1 million Naira as costs against Enyong.