Following the judgement by the Federal High Court, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, in favour of the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the State, Pastor Umo Eno, the College Of Personal Aides, COPA, to Governor Udom Emmanuel has called for the arrest and prosecution of the plaintiff, Mr Akan Okon for criminal defamation.
Mr Okon the former commissioner for Economic planning and governorship aspirant of the State under the PDP had dragged the governorship candidate, Pastor Eno to court alleging WAEC, voters card and birth certificate forgery and urged the court to disqualify the candidate and make him the governorship candidate as the next highest votes scorer.
Justice Agatha Okeke delivering her judgement on Friday dismissed the matter for lacking in merit, saying that the plaintiff, Okon brought his claims based on speculations and hearsay.
She, thereafter awarded fifteen million Naira as damage to Pastor Umo Eno for the stress he was subjected to.
However, Udom’s aides in a statement on Saturday night signed by the Secretary of the forum, Mr Essien Ndueso urged Pastor Umo Eno to immediately institute a case of criminal defamation against Mr Akan Okon to serve as a deterrent to others.
They noted that the award of N15 Million by the judge to Pastor Umo Eno cannot totally assuage him of the damage Okon’s fictitious claims put him.
The statement read, “While we congratulate the Governorship hopeful, Pastor Umo Eno on his victory at the Court; we see yesterday’s victory as the prelude to the victory at the polls come March, 2023, as the entire Akwa Ibom State can now attest to the fact that Pastor Umo Eno is a man of veracity and character.
“Of course, we have never entertained any doubt regarding the tested integrity of Pastor Umo Eno over the years. However, now that Pastor Umo Eno’s WAEC certificate has been judiciary-confirmed by a court of competent jurisdiction, we urge Pastor Umo Eno to immediately institute a case of criminal defamation against the dreamer, Mr Akan Okon. He should be made to face the wrath of the law.
“We believe that awarding the Fifteen Million Naira damage in favour of Pastor Umo Eno is the judge’s way of assuaging the Governorship hopeful, and absolving him of the allegations by the confused who was seeking for an office directly disproportionate to his capacity. That is not enough reprimand for the wild desperado.
“Mr Akan Okon should face the consequences of his unreasonable action, and be arraigned immediately for the criminal defamation on Pastor Umo, even if it is to serve as a deterrent for him before he shifts his vile and venom to another innocent victim.
“It is against this background that we call for the immediate arrest and prosecution of Mr Akan Okon for criminally defaming a man blessed by God and prepared for service to God and humanity, Pastor Umo Eno.”