Election Tribunal: Owan-Enoh, Usani Granted Substituted Service on Ayade

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Bassey Inyang in Calabar

The Cross River State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal Wednesday granted separate orders for substituted service in favour of Senator John Owan-Enoh and Pastor Usani Usani against the Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), who won the governorship election held on March 9.

Owan-Enoh and Usani had filed separate petitions at the tribunal with each of them laying claim to the governorship ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) during the elections.

Owan-Enoh, in a suit with number EPT/CAL/GOV/01/2019, had dragged Ayade and INEC, first and second respondents respectively, to court. Also, Usani, in another case with number EPT/CAL/02/2019, had also dragged INEC, Ayade and the PDP as first second and third respondents respectively to the tribunal.

At the tribunal which in Calabar, counsel to Owan-Enoh, M. O. Inyang, who held brief for Awa Kalu, moved a motion exparte application for hearing and sought an order for substituted service on Ayade, who is the first respondent in the suit.

Arguing on the motion exparte dated April 8, 2019, and filed on April 9, Inyang said there are four grounds for the application, but hinged vehemently on the fact that the court bailiff had made fervent efforts to serve Ayade personally but has not succeeded.

The application was supported by a three-paragraph affidavit, an exhibit, which was the affidavit of non-service, as well as a written address in support of the application.

After listening to the arguments of the counsel to the petitioner, Chairman of the Tribunal three-man panel, Justice Josiah Majebi, said the application had merit and granted the application that Ayade can be served by pasting the notice of service on the wall of the PDP state secretariat along Murtala Mohammed highway in the state.

In the second matter filed by Usani, his counsel, Henrie Ituen, also in a motion exparte dated and filed on April 9, 2019, sought an order to serve the second respondent, Ayade, through substituted means by pasting it at Government House, Diamond Hill, Calabar.