By Chioma Onuegbu, Uyo

THE governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, for 2023 election, Pastor Umo Eno will on Thursday September 15, 2022 open his defense in the ongoing alleged certificate forgery case brought against him before Federal High Court sitting in Uyo.

This is as the plaintiff and the PDP governorship aspirant in the May 2022 gubernatorial primary, Mr. Akan Okon closed his case, Wednesday, September 14, 2022.

Okon the immediate past Commissioner for Economic development and Ibom deep seaport was Cross examined by the lead counsel to the first and Second defendants (
PDP and Umo Eno respectively, Paul Usoro, (SAN).

Okon had earlier testified on his amended statements on oath, bordering on the allegations of forgery of Umo Eno’S 1981 and 1983 WAEC certificates, discrepancies in his dates of birth and forgery of his voter card.

He claimed that the defendant’s certificates had computer generated signatures of the Chairman and the Registrar of West African Examination Council (WAEC)

But under cross examination, the plaintiff told the Court that he did not know the Chairman and the Registrar, neither did he meet with them to identify their signatures nor contact WAEC to confirm the certificate.

He also told the Court that he did not report any of his allegations to WAEC, the Police, nor the third defendant in the suit, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC),.

Asked how he was able to know that Pastor Umo Eno’s voter card was fake, Okon said he assessed INEC’s database and could not find Pastor Eno’s voter registration details, prompting him to conclude that his voter card was fake and printed by a roadside printer.

Counsel to INEC, Barrister Emmanuel Eze during Cross examination submitted that Akan Okon hacked into INEC’s database, noting that no one, including staff of INEC, have access to the Commission’s database, except the INEC Database Manager in Abuja.

Paul Usoro, lead Counsel to Pastor Umo and the PDP, announced that his clients would be calling three witnesses in the case.

Counsel to the plaintiff, Okey Amaechi, SAN had applied to the Court for certified true copies of processes to enable him cross examine defense witnesses.

The Federal High court presided over by Justice Agatha Okeke adjourned the case till Thursday, 15th September, 2022 for defense.

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