2023 Guber: Appeal Court Reserves Judgement In Akan Okon Vs Umo Eno

…As Ani Wellington Loses Appeal Against PDP

The Evangelist
December 25, 2022

Judgement has been reserved to a later date on the substantive suit in the appeal case between Akan Okon and Pastor Umo Eno on the PDP Governorship Primaries.

Akwa Ibom State Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Pastor Umo Eno and the Peoples Democratic Party before a Three Man panel of the Court of Appeal, had urged the appellate court to dismiss the appeal filed by a governorship aspirant of the party, Mr Akan Okon, challenging the judgement of the lower court.

The appeal court refused the application of the 1st and 2nd Respondents (PDP and Pastor Umo Eno)for an extension of time to accommodate the late filing of brief by the respondents.

Paul Usoro SAN drew the court’s attention to the motion filed by the 1st and 2nd respondents on 22nd December, 2022 for concessions regarding the late filing of the brief of reply.

Chief Offiong Offiong,SAN proceeded to move a motion supported by an affidavit for the court to grant their prayers , explaining that an unfortunate incident of kidnap of the administrative staff of the first and second respondents caused a delay in the filing of the reply.

The application was strongly opposed by Okey Amaechi,SAN, Counsel to Akan Okon who argued that the court has no power to grant any extension of time.

The court subsequently ruled that it cannot exercise discretion to extend time for the respondents and the application for extension of time was refused.

The briefs of the first and second respondents were subsequently struck out.

Represented by Paul Usoroh SAN, the 1st and 2nd Defendants however brought an observation before the court that the appellant’s appeal did not meet the procedural standard of the court.

Usoroh argued that by submitting two different appeals, the Appellant is placing an unconstitutional task on the court , of determining which of the appeals to entertain.

Judgement was then reserved to a later date by the Appeal Court.

Earlier, the court had thrown out an appeal by another aspirant of the PDP in the May 2022 Governorship primaries, Mr Ani Wellington who was challenging the emergence of Pastor Umo Eno as candidate of the PDP, having held that he was excluded from from the exercise.

The case was earlier dismissed by the Federal High Court.

The appellant Ani Wellington filed a motion for an extension of time having filed his application beyond the stipulated time but the respondents, refused to oppose the application.

The court however dismissed the motion and subsequently dismissed the appeal by Ani Wellington against Pastor Umo Eno, for lack of diligent prosecution.

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