The presiding chief magistrate Emmanuel Iyana of Abuja Chief Magistrate Court, Wuse 6, has now reversed himself, setting aside his earlier order and warrant for the arrest of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) gubernatorial flag bearer for Akwa Ibom State.
The ruling followed a motion filed by counsel to Pastor Umo Bassey Eno, Bar Samuel Ikpo who asked the court not only to set aside its earlier order but also to decline jurisdiction which it wrongly assumed, thereby rendering every proceedings a nullity.
Chief magistrate Iyana, in his ruling delivered some minutes ago, admitted in line with the submission of Ikpo that the order was issued in error having been misled into assuming a jurisdiction he lacked in the first place.
He also set aside his his warrant for the arrest of the PDP flag-bearer on the same reason of having been misled to issue it.
It can be recalled that the magistrate had in late December 2022 issued an order for the arrest of the PDP governoship candidate under very controversial and suspicious circumstances.
The the controversial order followed a complaint by one Edet Godwin Etim who claimed to reside in Ibeno – Ibeno LGA, and who according to him, left the employ of Royalty Hotel Eket in Eket LGA.
The Defendant who has has been publicly campaigning had repeatedly stated that he was not aware of the existence of any case against him, having not been served any court processes; had resigned from the BOT of Royalty Hotel in 2020 to take up an appointment with the Akwa Ibom State Government as a Director.
News of the purported “conviction” by magistrate Iyana was recently broken by the Cable – an online news medium. Since the news emerged, many opposition figures and their supporters have taken to the social media to celebrate.
Apparently, Mr Etim may have to return to Akwa Ibom State where the jurisdiction lie, to begin the process afresh if he has sufficient substance to support his claims.
The matter was brought pursuant to section 89(3) and 101(1)(c) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 for the offence of Cheating and Dishonesty of Inducing Delivery of Property in the Penal code.