Following the forgery case instituted last month by Mr. Akan Okon against Pastor Umo Eno, there is palpable tension in the camp of the PDP guber candidate.
Okon, who contested the PDP governorship primary held at Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in May alongside Umo Eno, dragged his co-contestant and former colleague in state exco to court over alleged forgery of WAEC certificate, PVC and inconsistency in date of birth.
When the case was called last week at Federal High Court, Uyo, Pastor Eno was yet to file his defence. His counsels asked for more time to enable them respond accordingly, prompting the judge to adjourn the case to July 18.
TheMail can report on good authority that there is disquiet in government circles, especially in Umo Eno’s camp as his strategic team have been brainstorming on how to go about sorting out the imbroglio.
We understand that Governor Emmanuel has been having series of meetings with his inner circle to decipher the way forward. Sources told our reporter that the governor has also been pressing buttons outside the state, especially in Abuja in order to have headway as he has been “held by the balls” by Akan (his bestman) through the court case.
Sources in Wadata Plaza told our correspondent that the party at the national level is deeply worried by the turn of events, and do not want a situation where the Bayelsa scenario plays out in Akwa Ibom. Recall that in February 2020, a five member panel of the Supreme Court led by Justice Mary Odili (now retired) sacked David Lyon of the APC as governor-elect, just barely twenty four hours to his inauguration. Lyon was sacked because his running mate provided false information to INEC. He was accused of forging his certificates. The court held that there was no connection between the name on the deputy governor-elect’s school leaving certificate, first degree and master’s degree and the affidavit he swore.
The fact that the governorship candidates of the party in Delta and Benue States are equally walking tightrope because of certificate forgery allegations is equally giving the party a serious cause for concern, our sources intimated. “The party is pondering on suggesting to the governors of the affected states to consider voluntary withdrawal of the candidates so that candidates without certificate forgery scandals hanging around their necks can be fielded”, said our source.
A credible source in Government House told our reporter on Monday that the governor is really troubled with the recent development. He said though the ‘system’ were privy to the certificate issue, they didn’t know that Akan Okon will press on to institute a case against the party and Umo Eno.
“On one hand, the ete (governor) wants to play safe by asking Umo Eno to voluntarily withdraw but on the other hand, his ego will be badly bruised if he dumps Umo Eno after saying it was God who revealed to him that he (Eno) is his successor. His integrity will be called to question and he will be lambasted for toying with the name of God. There are some men of God who have told the governor not to waver or even contemplate withdrawing Umo Eno. The prophets are telling him that the ongoing travails is part of God’s grand plan to show His power and take all the glory as Umo Eno will triumph and emerge governor despite the litigations. The governor is really confused and disturbed”, our source said.
Meanwhile, TheMail has learnt on good authority that the ‘system’ last week sent more emissaries to placate Akan Okon. The Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Frank Archibong who is one of the right-hand men of Umo Eno and Governor Emmanuel visited Okon in his Ewet Housing residence. The Commissioner for Finance, Nsikan Linus Nkan also visited Okon who is equally his (Nkan’s) predecessor in the Ministry of Finance.
“Akan is pressing too hard. We got intel from the presidency that he went to meet with the wife of the Presidency, Aisha Buhari recently. We were informed that he wants support from the First Lady to win the current political battle he is having with Udom and Umo Eno. He has been presented with different offers including the position of SSG but he has turned them down. That is why Frank and Linus were sent to him. He is still insisting on the governorship ticket or nothing”, said a source from Government House.