The Court of Appeal in Abuja on Tuesday evening removed a House of Representatives member, Hon Micheal Enyong as the governorship candidate of the People’s Democratice Party (PDP) for Akwa Ibom State.
In his place, the Court restored Mr Umo Eno, a former Commissioner for Land in the State, whose nomination by the party was set aside by a Federal High Court in Abuja on January 20, 2023.
In a judgment delivered in an appeal filed by PDP against the Federal High Court judgement, Justice Hamma Akawu Barka voided the judgment of the lower court and set it aside on the ground that it was predicated on errors.
Justice Barka agreed with counsel to the PDP, Mr Paul Usoro (SAN) and Uwemedimo Nwoko (SAN), that the Federal High Court’s judgment was delivered in error and that the court was misled by the plaintiff in the matter to arrive at an unjust conclusion.
The appellate court held that the issue of statutory delegates who voted at the primary election is an internal affair of the party and that the lower court ought not to have enquired into the issue.
Justice Barka also agreed with Usoro that only the National Working Committee NWC of a political party has power to conduct primary elections for the purpose of nomination of candidates for general election.
The appellate court further held that since the lower court had no jurisdiction to inquire into the internal affairs of PDP, the Judge had no discretion in law to exercise in the matter.
Justice Barka, thereafter, upheld the appeal of the PDP and vacated all orders made by the Federal High Court judgment in favour of Michael Enyong.
Besides, the Court of Appeal ordered the House of Representatives member, representing Uyo Federal Constituency to pay a sum of one million naira to the appellant as cost of litigation.
Reacting to the judgment, Mr Paul Usoro SAN, said that the judiciary has done justice to the unlawful orders issued by the Federal High Court against PDP.