Nigeria News

Again, Umo Eno risks jail as group appeals case

By Dennis Udo-Udoma, Uyo

Barely few days to the gubernatorial election, the People’s Democratic Party’s governorship candidate in Akwa Ibom, Pastor Umo Bassey Eno is still having some backages to clear, as a group drags him to the Federal High Court in Abuja.

The appeal, CR/02/2023 dated January 23, 2023 seeks to reverse an order that fraudulently set aside Umo Eno’s criminal conviction by the Magistrate Court in Abuja on December 20, 2022.

The group said, the learned Chief Magistrate, Wuse 6 in Abuja erred in law by assuming jurisdiction and granted ex-parte the motion on notice filed on January 9, 2023 by the respondent on January 11, 2023 without communicating the hearing to the appeallant, who was a respondent and served with the said motion on January 10, 2023 by substituted means to appear for hearing on January 13, 2023 pursuant to the order court and thereby occasioned a miscarriage of justice and breach his right to fair hearing amongst others.

The appeallant (names withheld) is therefore, praying the court amongst other things; to allow his earlier judgement to stand, by restoring the Bench Warrant of arrest issued against the governorship candidate, Pst. Umo Basset Eno.

Other reliefs sought are that, the court should quash the fraudulent order and pronounce sentence against Pst. Eno.

He said, what was remaining after conviction was the sentencing which the arrest warrant was issued, pointing out that, the court order of January 11, 2023 was printed under fraud without trial as evidence showed court did not sit that day.

According to him, “an order of court directing the bench warrant issued on December 20, 2022 in judgement of the trial by Chief Magistrate to be complied with.

“That an order of court sentencing the respondent – Pastor Umo Basset Eno to 7 years imprisonment and to impose a fine in accordance to the provisions of law which he was charged and convicted.

“That an order of court prohibiting Umo Eno from holding any public office in the Federal Republic of Nigeria for cheating the judicial process with disrespect, public ridicule and odium”.

The appeallant also stated that, his lawyers were served to appear in court on January 1, 2023 for hearing of Umo Eno’s motion to set aside only issuance of arrest warrant and not a motion to set aside conviction.

He further maintained that, on January 11, 2023 a day after the order of substituted service was issued for hearing slated for hearing on January 13, 2023 Umo Eno and his lawyers flanked an order that purportedly set aside the conviction, indicating that, the purported order of January 11, 2023 was a fraud perfected without hearing from respondent lawyers, while Umo Eno was fixed for hearing on January 13, 2023.

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