By Etim Etim
I have just spoken to the Publisher of Mr. Simon Kolawole of The Cable, the online newspaper, and he’s confirmed the authenticity of the story the paper published overnight that Umo Eno, the PDP governorship candidate in Akwa Ibom State, has been convicted by Abuja Magistrate Court, Wuse 6, and a Warrant of Arrest issued against him. I am a columnist with The Cable, and I know that the paper is highly reputable. But due to the sensitive nature of the story, I had to be as cautious as possible in reporting it. In this business, the dictum is “When in doubt, leave out”.
The Publisher has confirmed to me that the Warrant of Arrest has already been served on the IG of Police, and Eno would be arrested anytime soon. He’s also promised to forward the court documents to me.
The story is that Umo Eno was tried and convicted by the Magistrate Court for ‘’for cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property’’. This is another name for 419. Umo Eno had consistently refused to appear before the Court although he was duly served. The Magistrate therefore entered judgement against him earlier in the year, but because of Umo Eno’s refusal to appear before the Court, a Warrant of Arrest was issued against him on December 23, 2022. The complainant in the case is one Edet Godwim Etim and case number is CR/94/2022.
The Warrant of Arrest is issued for the police to arrest and produce Umo Eno in Court so that he could be formally sentenced and sent to prison. The Warrant of Arrest is hereby attached.
I therefore state as follows:
1. I do not know why Umo Eno refused to defend himself before the Court; but one thing is clear, Umo Eno has been convicted. He is the second governorship candidate in Akwa Ibom to be convicted by the Court of Law in one month, and the third governorship candidate to be seriously damaged by the Court. Bassey Albert of YPP was convicted on December 1 and sentenced to a long jail term by the Federal High Court in Uyo, while Akanimo Udofia of APC was disqualified as the APC governorship candidate by the Federal High Court, Uyo, in November 2022.
2. I urge the police authorities to hasten up and arrest Umo Eno this weekend. Akwa Ibom people should be spared further embarrassment.
3. The ignominy of three governorship candidates facing serious court judgements is a major scandal to Akwa Ibom people.
4. With these three Court judgements, Senator John James Udoedehe of NNPP has become the the only and unopposed governorship Candidate in Akwa Ibom. I urge INEC to take judicial note of these developments.
5. I should note that Umo Eno is already facing a criminal case at the Appeal Court in Abuja, where the Appellant is challenging the judgement of the Federal High Court in the case of forgery of school certificate preferred against Umo Eno. The Federal High Court had earlier dismissed the claims of forgery against the PDP candidate, but the plaintiff, Akan Okon, who contested the PDP primary against Eno is appealing, the FHC’s judgement.
6. It would appear that Umo Eno’s candidacy has become an incubus and a huge embarrassment to the PDP and Gov. Udom Emmanuel.
7. I urge Akwa Ibom people to reject Umo Eno and all the other candidates who have question marks over their heads.
Etim is a Journalist and Political Analyst, writes from Abuja