Senator John Owan-Enoh, who lost the governorship ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Cross River State, has submitted a petition against Senator Prince Bassey Otu, who emerged as the winner.
This is as the party was rattled with a controversial parallel APC Cross River North Senatorial District primary results, indicating how incumbent Gov Ben Ayade and his Chief of Staff, Martins Orim, were allegedly defeated by one Cecilia Adams.
Owan-Enoh’s petition, dated 27 May 2022, was submitted to the chairman of the 2022 Governorship Primary Election Appeal Panel Committee. It is titled Appeal Against Declaration of Prince Bassey Otu as the APC governorship candidate for Cross River State governorship election 2023.
It has asked the panel to look into the reported controversy surrounding the educational qualifications of Otu.
Owan-Enoh asserted that Otu ‘wrongfully and illegally’ emerged and was declared the winner despite his non-clearance by both the screening committee and the screening appeal committees set up by the party.
Unlike himself and another aspirant, Chief Chris Agara, he said, “It is pertinent to state that Senator (Prince) Bassey Edet Otu was not cleared by both the screening and screening appeal committees due to a petition against his educational qualifications.
He accused organising secretary of the party who on the 26 May, 2022, purportedly wrote a letter to the chairman of the 2022 Governorship Primary Election Committee, purportedly stating that Otu had been cleared to contest the primary election “against the clear and unbiased report of both the screening committee and the screening appeal committee, and without stating who cleared him”.
Owan-Enoh, who himself represented Cross River Central in the Senate, maintained that if Otu was cleared, his educational qualifications, which were at stake, should have been so published and clearance is done on party letterhead.
Owan-Enoh contended that it was worrisome that an aspirant who was disqualified by both the screening and Appeal committees of the party were sneaked into the primary election of the state governorship through the back door and declared the winner of the primary election against the clear provisions of the electoral law and party guidelines.
He appealed to the appeal panel to look into the matter and set aside the emergence and declaration of Otu as the candidate of APC in Cross River State and declare him as the authentic winner and the candidate with the highest number of votes.
Meanwhile, the APC electoral panel had declared Martins Orim as the authentic winner of the Cross River North senatorial ticket.
The state governor, Prof Ben Ayade has issued a letter congratulating Martin’s Orim, describing him as a dependable ally who will represent his own senatorial district.
Meanwhile, embarrassed by the action of alleged impostors who, on an APC letterhead suspected to have been forged, published the name of one Cecilia Adams as the winner and a viral video purporting the same, the party has petitioned the Nigeria Police, calling for the arrest, detention, and prosecution of those behind the forgery and viral video.
The party, in a statement signed by the state publicity secretary, Erasmus Ekpang, accused those behind the video of forgery.
“Forgery is a crime punishable under the laws of this country. The party wants the police to declare these people wanted, arrested and prosecuted for forging the letterhead of our dear party, which they used to put together that charade.
“Forgery is a serious offence and the party is determined to bring the characters behind the crime to book.
“Subsequently, the APC in Cross River state has petitioned the state police command and demanded the immediate arrest and prosecution of the masterminds,” the statement concluded.
Confusion overwhelms C’River APC over parallel results, petition against guber candidate