UNDERSTANDING WHY HON. MICHAEL ENYONG’S ORIGINATING SUMMONS SUCCEEDED AND WHY IT WILL FAIL: A LEGAL COLLOGUE
by Eld. Emmanuel Udosen
This is an attempt to demystify the legal process that led to the most baffling court judgment of all times since the 2023 race for Hilltop Mansion began.
Some calm headed persons across party lines have wondered what legal process would have produced a submarine judgment that took the entire State by surprise.
To this end, a pro opposition writer has posited that, ab initio, court proceedings were not supposed to be given daily publicity by way of announcement on air. It stands to wonder whether on the contrary, court proceedings are supposed to be shrouded in secrecy as if it were a military Court Martial, particularly when even the interested/necessary parties are deliberately kept at bay.
Below is a comprehensive position on the case:
- The Originating Summons was taken by Hon. Michael Enyong (aka Babantan) against two defendants namely: Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to the exclusion of any other person who was, or were likely be affected by the outcome of the case.
- The issues for determination, among others, were whether it was not proper for PDP to declare and forward the name of the winner of their primaries held on 25/5/2022 to INEC; and whether it was not proper for INEC to publish the name of the winner so forwarded by INEC in their list of nominated candidates.
You and I know that to this extent, the claims are proper.
- The Originating Summon indicated that the ONLY primaries held in Akwa Ibom State on 25/5/2022 was the one at Plaintiff’s compound which, according to plaintiff, was the approved venue for the primaries and which witnessed in attendance all approved monitoring agencies including INEC.
Assuming you still have capacity to reason, you will properly assess the Truth Value of this 2nd postulation, and proceed to understand why it was necessary for him to exclude the name of the PDP flag bearer, Pst. Umo Eno, as a codefendant.
- The plaintiff did not pray for a substitution, a replacement, or nullification of Pst. Umo Eno as PDP flag bearer because, in his conception, there was no valid PDP primaries anywhere else.
- The court sessions which were held virtually for the greater part, believed the reports that both PDP and INEC were served and that while INEC was lackadaisical in their defence on ground of neutrality, the PDP did not put up any defence at all.
Note that INEC, through its counsel, Anthony Onyeri Esq. was reported to have responded that as a neutral umpire, they could not speak in defense of any party.
- The court, on its part, feigned neutrality and gross ignorance of any lacuna and proceeded to deliver judgment in favor of the plaintiff, however, by merely ordering PDP to submit plaintiff’s name, and INEC to recognize the plaintiff as the authentic candidate of PDP.
- Privileged information is that the few court sessions held in open gallery by the court started at 8am and finished at 9.15am before the arrival of litigants and lawyers for other cases of the day; whereas in the ordinary business of that same court, the judge sits by 10am for other days.
- That the court processes purportedly served on INEC and PDP were usually intercepted by plaintiff’s agents who act as insiders in INEC and PDP respectively, and interestingly, one of them is known to be a regular feature in the PDP daily gubernatorial campaigns in Akwa Ibom State.
- Finally, judgment was entered in favor of the plaintiff, Hon. Michael Enyong, directing PDP to forward the name of the plaintiff as the authentic nominee of the party, and for INEC to accept and publish plaintiff’s name as the candidate of the PDP.
No mention was made about the fate of the party ticket currently held by Pst. Umo Eno, because in the imagination and machination of the plaintiff, there is no subsisting flag bearer for PDP in the State.
WHY HON. MICHAEL ENYONG WILL FAIL
Those that are conversant with court procedures know that some judgments stand on one leg, and the instant case is one of such judgments. The case shares similar features and fate with the case of one Etim Godwin Edet (of blessed memory) which judgment was given by one Chief Magistrate Emmanuel Iyanna of the Wuse Chief Magistrate’s Court, Abuja, purportingly “convicting” the PDP candidate in absentia.
You and I know that under whatever disguise, the judgment obtained by (dis)Honorable Michael Enyong is garnished with fraudulent misrepresentation and misinformation, assuming you understand English. All Akwa Ibom people cannot be nincompoops.
What options for any interested party, in this case, Pst. Umo Eno, who still custody the PDP gubernatorial flag in the State?
Without much ado with legal jargons, let me state categorically that Pst. Umo Eno has various options to apply to that same court declaring his position as an Interested Party to which the court’s judgment has direct detrimental impact on, and therefore seek to have that judgment set aside or the execution thereof stayed, pending his joinder and subsequent opportunity to make a defense thereof.
Or in the alternative, Pst. Umo Eno can apply for joinder as interested party and take up an appeal praying the appellate court to set aside the judgment as having been fraudulently obtained. This later option is what the ailing plaintiff is craving for so as to raise some more dusts while the process of appeal is delayed.
As you are reading this, all of the above recommended options have been taken and the case is fixed for Thursday, February, 2, 2023 for Motion on Notice to join Applicant as Interested Party, and to set aside the fraudulent judgment. On same basis, a preemptive appeal is also filed, which in any case, will become defunctus if the judgment is set aside by the court.
LESSONS FROM THE SHOW OF SHAME
With incidences like these, Akwa Ibom citizens stand to have adequate insight as to the quality (or quantity) of persons they voted to represent them in the various legislative houses. An average Uyo Federal Constituency person should have realized by now that they were represented by a fraudster within the last four years (you can disagree with this position if you care).
It stands to imagine how many other fraudulent acts still under cover that the plaintiff may have committed against his own people, and by extension against Akwa Ibom indigenes in the National Assembly