Admin l Thursday, November 24, 2022
CALABAR, Cross River – AFederal High Court sitting in Calabar on Thursday dismissed an application brought before it by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the party’s governorship flag bearer, Senator Sandy Onor, seeking to disqualify the All Progressives Congress (APC) gubernatorial standard bearer, Senator (Prince) Otu and his running mate, Hon. Peter Odey, from participating in the 2023 Cross River guber poll.
Senator Onor and the PDP in an originating summons had dragged the APC, Senator Otu, Hon. Odey and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th defendants respectively before the court, alleging that the 3rd defendant was not a member of the APC and that he was also a British citizen and as such, was not qualified to run for any elective position in Nigeria.
Counsel to the PDP, Mba Ukweni, SAN, had prayed the court to, among other five requests, disqualify the APC gubernatorial candidate and his deputy who are the 2nd and 3rd defendants since it was a joint ticket.
However, in her ruling, the presiding Judge, Justice Rosemary Oghoghorie, said that counsel to the plaintiff failed to convince the court enough to prove their case. She therefore struck off the matter.
Justice Oghoghorie’s verdict came exactly one month after Prince Otu, the leading Cross River guber candidate, emerged triumphant in the same Federal High Court sitting in Calabar when his fellow APC member and co-contestant in the party’s governorship primaries, Senator John Owan-Enoh, equally requested that Otu be disqualified.
Senator Owan-Enoh’s case against the APC candidate was also dismissed and Otu declared as the party’s authentic standard bearer for the 2023 Cross River guber election by Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu.