The All Progressives Congress has asked the electorate in Cross River State to go out and vote for candidates of their choice as its candidates in the state are still in the race.
Reacting to the unsigned prepared script read to the media by the State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), the party, through its lawyers, has asked INEC to note the Court of Appeal orders which upheld INEC’s decision to accept, publish and sustain the list of candidates presented by the party’s National Working Committee. The party urged the Commission to confirm from its record that all other judicial pronouncements were made at the High Court which by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria are inferior to the Court of Appeal.
First, the Court of Appeal Abuja on February 13, 2019 in Pastor Usani Uguru Usani vs APC, INEC & Sen. John Owan Enoh – CA/A/61/2019, dismissed Pastor Usani Uguru Usani’s appeal following his concession to our objections. This decision means that the Court of Appeal upheld the decision of Justice Adeniyi of the Abuja F.C.T Federal High Court which dismissed Usani’s application and declared Sen. Owan Enoh as the candidate of of APC in Cross River State.
Again, the Court of Appeal Calabar had on February 20 in APC & 6 Others vs Hon. Godwin Etim John ordered parties to the case to maintain status quo pending the determination of the matter.
Consequently, the following events aggregate to the status quo – the fact that the NWC of APC conducted primaries, the NWC declared Sen. John Owan Enoh and other INEC published candidates as winners of those primaries, the NWC sent the names of the winners to INEC, INEC accepted and repeatedly published those names, the leader of the party – President Muhammadu Buhari personally handed over party flags to the candidates in Uyo as standard bearers of the party in Cross River State and they campaigned all over the state.
Therefore, going against the order of the Appeal Court in Calabar for parties to maintain status quo would inexorably be in contempt of court.
Also, both the Constitution and the Electoral Act do not support substitution of candidates 48 hours to the election, not to talk about doing so less than 24 hours to the election.
We urge our supporters and the electorate in Cross River State to go out and vote for candidates of their choice as we believe victory is ours.