By Musa Baba Adamu
The Court of Appeal in Abuja on Tuesday evening removed a House of Representatives member, Micheal Enyong, as the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for Akwa Ibom State.
In his place, the court restored Umo Eno, a former Commissioner for Land whose nomination by the party was set aside by a Federal High Court in Abuja on January 20, 2023.
In a judgment delivered in an appeal filed by PDP against the Federal High Court judgement, Justice Hamma Akawu Barka voided the judgment of the Federal High Court and set it aside on the ground that it was predicated on errors.
Justice Barka agreed with counsel to the PDP, Mr Paul Usoro and Uwemedimo Nwoko that the Federal High Court judgment was delivered in error and that the court was misled by the plaintiff in the matter to arrive at an unjust conclusion.
The appellate court held that the issue of statutory delegates who voted at the primary election is an internal affair of the party and that the lower court ought not to have inquired into the issue.
Justice Barka also agreed with Usoro that only the National Working Committee, NWC, of a political party has the power to conduct primary elections for the purpose of nominating candidates for the general election.
The appellate court further held that since the lower court has no jurisdiction to inquire into the internal affairs of PDP, the judge has no discretion in law to exercise in the matter.
Justice Barka thereafter upheld the appeal of the PDP and vacated all orders made by the Federal High Court in favour of Michael Enyong.