‘There’s tension in Akwa Ibom’ — PDP guber candidate asks court to vacate arrest warrant

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Umo Eno, governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Akwa Ibom state, has asked a chief magistrate court in Zone 6, Abuja to set aside the warrant of arrest issued against him.

 

Recall that Emmanuel Iyanna, senior magistrate, issued the warrant on December 23 after convicting the governorship candidate on charges bordering on “cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property”.

 

The complainant in the suit marked CR/94/2022 is one Edet Godwin Etim.

 

Eno’s campaign organisation has denied knowledge of the suit.

 

However, in a motion on notice filed before the court on Monday, the governorship candidate through his team of lawyers is praying the court to set aside the warrant of arrest.

 

In the affidavit in support of the motion, Samuel lkpo, one of the lawyers, said the defendant applicant (Eno) found out about the suit and the warrant of arrest via social media.

 

The lawyer said Eno “had to call many of his friends to verify the facts as presented in the social media and it was confirmed, that there is such a case pending at court in Wuse Zone 6”.

 

Ikpo said the governorship candidate has “never been invited by the police on any matter nor has he ever made any statement to the police in connection with this case,” adding that he has “never been served with any court process”.

 

He said Eno is ready to defend “any case brought against him before the court”.

 

‘TENSION IN AKWA IBOM’

In an affidavit of urgency attached to the suit, the lawyer averred that “there is much tension in Akwa lbom state as many social media houses have been interpreting the court orders within their knowledge in a manner likely to cause a breach of the peace within the state”.


He urged that the motion “should be given speedy hearing to ensure that justice is done”.

 

“The substance of this application is that the defendant/applicant has never been served with any court process commanding him to attend court in this case,” he said.

 

“In all court cases services of court process are personal talk less of criminal cases.

 

“The court has inherent jurisdiction to interfere with its orders which are a nullity. This is one of such situations that the court can intervene with its orders and set them aside.”

 

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Specifically, Eno is asking for “an order setting aside the warrant of arrest issued against the defendant/Applicant by the court on the 23rd day of December 2022 on the grounds that no court process has ever been served on the Defendant/Applicant to appear in court and answer to any charge”.

 

“I respectfully urge upon the court to grant our prayers in the interest of justice,” he added.

 

The court has fixed Thursday, January 12 to hear the application.

 

Meanwhile, the warrant has been served on the IGP via the commissioner of police (legal).

 

An acknowledgement copy shows that it was stamped “received” on Monday, January 9.

 

Eno, who is the preferred candidate of Udom Emmanuel, governor of Akwa Ibom, won the party’s primary held in May 2022.

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