In a joint statement of defence, Eno and PDP, who are the defendants, have withdrawn the ‘Confirmation of Result’ earlier tendered to the court in defence of the certificate forgery allegation.
It could be recalled that while responding to Mr Okon’s earlier statement of claim to the Federal High Court, Eno had in his first statement of defence attached a copy of ‘Confirmation of Result’.
SaharaReporters had exclusively reported how WAEC confirmed that the governorship candidate’s certificate does not exist in its records.
In a letter dated April 8, 2022, and signed by T. A. Ademola, WAEC Exams and Records, the examination body stated that it could not certify the certificate because it did not issue it.
“This is to notify you that certificate No. PO 275878 A for candidate No. 15725119 of December 1983 submitted for certification by you does not exist in our records hence we cannot certify what we did not issue,” the letter had read.
However, in the joint statement of defence, Eno has withdrawn the said ‘Confirmation of Result’ and replaced it with a ‘Leaving Certificate and Testimonial’.
But a thorough examination of the school testimonial reveals more discrepancies.
The testimonial, which is not in the list of documents submitted to INEC, was issued by Victory High School II, Ikeja, as against the ‘Confirmation of Result’ which carried Victory High School I, Ikeja, and WAEC results bearing Victory High School, Ikeja.
“Umo Eno’s lawyers discovered that the confirmation of result was a very bad job, very bad so they decided to withdraw it from the court. As I speak, the two people who signed the forged confirmation of result have been arrested,” the source said.
The source further revealed that Eno’s legal team agreed that withdrawing the confirmation of the result will enable them to deny the existence of the document.
However, a lawyer told SaharaReporters that the withdrawal of the said confirmation of result does not take away the fact that the document is in existence and has been admitted in court, and can be relied on by the Judge in the course of the trial.
The Supreme Court in UZODINMA V. IZUNASO 2012 VOL. 211 PG. 153 L.R.C.N AT PAGE 213 PARAGRAPH 33, held; “It is to be noted, however, that a Statement of Claim or Defence which has been amended with leave of Court does not cease to exist. It is still part of the proceedings and can properly be looked at or referred to by the trial Judge in his Judgment.”
Responding to Okon’s allegation that he submitted a voter card with a false date of birth to the PDP screening committee and INEC, Eno said that he provided his correct date of birth to INEC officials during the nationwide voters’ registration exercise in 2014, but was surprised to see his date of birth wrongly recorded when he received his voter card.
He stated that upon noticing the error on his voter card, he ‘promptly’ informed INEC and based on INEC’s advice, he swore an affidavit of correction of date of birth on April 10, 2015.
The governor’s stooge further revealed that during the ongoing 2022 voters’ registration exercise conducted by the electoral body, he visited INEC’s registration centre in his community on 14 June 2022 to request for the rectification of his date of birth on his voter card.
But from our investigations, Eno’s request for rectification only came after Okon had made the allegations of falsification of date of birth.
Further investigations reveal that Eno has never provided the said affidavit before in any documentation including his credentials to INEC for the 2023 governorship election despite continuously using the same voter card with a false date of birth.
SaharaReporters had earlier reported that Umo Eno was mulling a plan to acquire a backdated affidavit to counter the allegations against him.
All his documents previously submitted to the PDP screening committee and INEC did not include the affidavit.
The case, which was called for mention on Monday, July 18, 2022, before Justice Agatha A. Okeke of the Federal High Court, Uyo, was adjourned to Thursday.