Mr Umo Eno, governorship candidate of the PDP, Akwa Ibom State.
After accusing an online newspaper, TheCable.ng, of fabricating a story of his conviction by an Abuja Chief Magistrate Court and a warrant issued for his arrest, the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Akwa Ibom state, Mr Umo Eno, has approached the court to stop his arrest.
Mr Umo Eno through his campaign organisation had insisted that the news report is fake, and was sponsored by “desperate politicians” from Akwa Ibom State.
TheCable.ng reported that Eno was convicted for ‘cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property’ by the Chief Magistrate Court at Wuse Zone 6, Abuja.
The Umo Eno and Akan Eyakenyi 2023 campaign organisation in a press release on Saturday 7th January, signed by the spokesperson of the PDP/Umo Eno campaign council, Prince Chris AbasiEyo, dismissed the story as fake news.
It told TheCable to immediately retract the report, apologise to Umo Eno within 24 hours or risk a legal action.
The release read, “We expect a credible news medium like TheCable, edited by an equally credible and experienced journalist, Simon Kolawale, not to promote the practice of churnalism but abide by the three pillars of journalism which are truth, accuracy and objectivity. This it could have achieved if it did follow the rules in journalism by verifying the information and using original sources for its report. We believe, quite sadly, that it has unwittingly, lent itself to the duty of purveying fake news sponsored by desperate politicians from Akwa Ibom state.”
“We call on TheCable to immediately retract the false, malicious, libelous and fabricated story aimed at damaging the hard-earned reputation and integrity of Pastor Umo Eno and apologize to him within 48 hours or risk a legal action as a consequence.”
A copy of the warrant of arrest authorised by His Worship A. Chioma, of the Chief Magistrate Court, Wuse Zone 6, Abuja, and a letter addressed to the Inspector of Police to investigate a direct criminal complaint against Eno was circulated on social media last weekend. His campaign organisation also dismissed it as fake.
Earlier, according to a document sighted by The Dune, the Chief Magistrate Court had on Wednesday 25th May 2022, in a letter signed by the Court Registrar, Zakari Daniel, asked the Inspector General of Police to investigate a direct criminal complaint against Eno and report the outcome back to the Court within two weeks.
The letter referenced AB/AR/74/2022 and titled “Re-direct criminal complaint brought pursuant to the sections, 88 (1), 89 (3) Administrations of Criminal Justice Act 2015 and Under the inherent jurisdiction of this Honourable Court between Mr Edet Godwin Etim and Pastor Umo Eno” was addressed to the Inspector General of Police.
A warrant for the arrest of Umo Eno was issued on Friday 23rd December 2022.
However, Eno has filed a motion at the court seeking to set aside the warrant of arrest, barely 48 hours after he insisted that his conviction and warrant of arrest were fake.
In a motion filed on Monday 9th January 2023, by his counsel led by Samuel Ikpo, the governorship candidate said the warrant should be set aside on “the grounds that no court process has ever been served on (him) to appear in court and answer any charge”.
Hearing on the motion has been scheduled for Thursday 12th January 2023 before noon.
Umo Eno is also standing trial for alleged forgery of his educational qualifications, voter’s card and date of birth at the Court of Appeal, Abuja. The Federal High Court in Uyo had absolved him of the allegations.