A Federal High Court sitting in Calabar yesterday sacked Senator John Owan Enoh as the All Progressive Congress (APC) governorship candidate for Cross River State. The court recognised Niger Delta Affairs Minister Pastor Usani Usani as the candidate of the party.
It also sacked other candidates of the party currently recognised by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The court also sacked the factional leader of the party led by Mr John Ochalla, which is loyal to Owan-Enoh.
In a two-hour judgment delivered by Hon Justice Simon A Amobeda, the court ordered that “INEC should only receive and accept the names and candidates for the 2019 elections that emerged from the lawful executive led by Godwin Etim John.”
It also ordered that persons parading themselves as the executive members of the APC in Cross River State should forthwith cease and that the lawful executive of APC in Cross River State remains that which is led by Godwin Etim John.
Usani and Owan-Enoh have been in a protracted battle over the governorship candidate position of the party.
Reports of the judgment were circulated on social media by appointees of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) led state government on Monday evening.
According to reports in a two-hour judgment delivered by Hon Justice Simon A Amobeda earlier, the court ordered that INEC should only receive and accept the names and candidates for the 2019 elections that emerged from the executive led by Godwin Etim John.
It also ordered that persons parading themselves as the executive members of the APC in Cross River State should forthwith cease and that the executive of APC in Cross River State remains that which is led by Godwin Etim John.
The court also sacked the leadership of the party led by Mr John Ochalla, which is loyal to Owan-Enoh.
Reacting to the judgement, the Director General of Usani Campaign Organisation, Ekpenyong Cobham, said the enforcement of the judgement has been long overdue and appealed to INEC and the security agencies to do the needful by complying with the judgment.
The spokesperson for the Owan-Enoh Campaign Organisation, Dan Amor, said the “purported judgment” was an unnecessary distraction, which cannot stand in law.
His statement reads: “The attention of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Cross River State, has been drawn to a purported judgment delivered by the Federal High Court, Calabar, seeking to enforce an earlier controversial ruling of a Bwari, Abuja High Court that recognised the Etim John’s factional the state executive council of the party and directing the withdrawal of the candidates of the late state chairman, Dr. Matthew Achigbe, from state/federal assemblies to governorship, from the 2019 general elections, and wishes to state as follows:
“That the Bwari, Abuja High Court ruling has since been appealed by the defendant in the Appeal Court in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja pending hearing.
“That the claimant, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani had sought an Abuja High Court sitting in Apo, FCT, to declare him the governorship candidate of the APC in our state and his case summarily dismissed by the court presided over by Justice Adeniyi on January 7, 2019.”