The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Cross River Stat, Senator John Owan-Enoh has urged the electorate in the State to ignore the antics of the Minister for Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Usani, as well as those of the State governor, Senator Ben Ayade and his cohort who are allegedly misinforming the people that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has disqualified all APC candidates in the state in the build-up to the general elections.
According to Owan-Enoh, the duo of Usani and Ayade are gripped with fear over his growing popularity and acceptability across the State as APC governorship candidate who is set to cause an upset in the rescheduled upcoming March 9 polls.
A press statement signed by spokesman for his campaign organisation, Dan Amor, noted that the attention of Owan-Enoh’s Campaign Organisation was aware of sponsored scroll message on some national television stations to the effect that an Appeal Court in Calabar has insisted that Pastor Usani U. Usani remained the APC candidate in the state.
“There was no such thing as Usani being the APC candidate in Cross River State”.
“The script is a fabrication by Usani and Governor Benedict Ayade to distract the APC in the State due to the looming presence of Owan Enoh, the party’s one and only governorship candidate in Cross River State”.
According to him, “Usani has never been declared a candidate in Cross River State as far as the current political transition is concerned. Usani is a spoiler employed by Ayade to distract the APC and its candidates in the state in order for him to have a smooth sail to a second term despite his obvious lack of performance and failure to deliver the dividends of democracy to the people.”
The statement further noted that “Usani knows that he is not a candidate in this year’s governorship election; that is why he has not resigned his appointment as a minister a few weeks to the election, despite the constitutional provision that any appointee running an election must resign his/her appointment 30 days before the election.”
He said Ayade of the PDP has co-opted Usani “to play the role of a spoiler so that if he (Ayade) wins, he would nominate Usani for another ministerial appointment as well as position him to succeed him in 2023,” adding that “the substance of the case is very clear.
“In the count down to the party’s primaries last year, the National Working Committee of the APC sent a delegation of seven members to conduct Direct Primaries for the party in Cross River State as stipulated in its constitution.”
“Usani refused to participate in that exercise. Rather, he went and formed a faction of the party which conducted an illegal primary and declared himself a winner. But the primary conducted by the National Working Committee of the party had already produced Owan-Enoh as the candidate of the party in Cross River State”.
“Usani went and procured judgment from the Bwari Abuja High Court seeking the declaration of the Etim John faction to which he belongs as the authentic party exco in the state.
“He also approached the Federal High Court, Apo, Abuja, to declare him the candidate of the party in Cross River State. The Apo High Court presided over by Hon. Justice Olukayode Adeniyi dismissed his case and rather declared Owan-Enoh as the governorship candidate of the party in Cross River State. Still dancing to the drumbeat of Ayade, his sponsor, Usani again, approached the Federal High Court Calabar, which asked INEC to recognise the Etim John faction of the party in the state. But this cannot stand in law as the Federal High Courts in Abuja and Calabar, respectively, are courts of coordinate or concurrent jurisdictions, meaning they have equal powers and none can override the order”.
“Usani, therefore, ran to the Appeal Court in Abuja but on sensing that he would lose the case as usual, he quickly sought the withdrawal of the case from the Appeal Court. Meanwhile, the APC had filed an application with the Appeal Court in Calabar.
The Appeal Court in Calabar issued an order asking parties to the case to maintain status quo pending the determination of the matter. What this means is that Owan-Enoh to whom the party had handed its flag at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo last December 28, 2018, as its standard bearer and listed by INEC as the candidate of the party in Cross River State, remains its candidate until the determination of the matter.”