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Two candidates contest APC guber slot in Cross River

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Minister of Niger Delta of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani


• Court clears candidates for polls in Taraba, Enugu, Kano, Ogun
Court of Appeal rulings and cracks in the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the national level have thrown up two governorship candidates for the party in Cross River State for tomorrow’s polls.

Senator John Owan-Enoh is relying on the rulings of Abuja and Calabar appeal courts as well as the party’s national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, to lay claim to the governorship slot.But the Minister of Niger Delta, Uguru Usani, is drawing his strength from several high courts rulings in the state and Abuja to maintain his stand as the party’s flagbearer.

Usani is also emboldened by the support of the transport minister, a faction of the presidency led by the chief of staff and Governor Ben Ayade. Despite the appeal courts’ rulings and suspension from the party, Usani on Wednesday laid claim to the governorship slot and went about his campaigns. Owan-Enoh equally did same, saying the appeal courts’ judgements were superior to those of the high courts.

From all indications, it seems the APC is contesting Saturday’s polls with two candidates. It is left for the independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to make pronouncement on the matter.Both factional candidates of the party advised their supporters to vote APC in tomorrow’s election.Besides, the Court of Appeal sitting in Jalingo, Taraba State has set aside a Federal High Court judgment, which disqualified All Progressives Congress (APC) gubernatorial candidate, Sani Abubakar Danladi from contesting the election.

In his ruling, the presiding judge, Chidi Nwaoma Uwa, ordered the parties involved to maintain the status quo, urging them to stay action on steps towards execution of the Federal High Court’s judgement.Responding to the development, the APC said the Appeal Court has vacated the judgement of Federal High Court that sat in Jalingo on Wednesday, adding that it accepted the application filed “by our lawyers.”

Also, the Court of Appeal has affirmed Senator Anyogu Eze as Enugu State APC’s gubernatorial candidate for Saturday’s election.The Justice Abdul Aboki-led panel of justices in a unanimous judgement upheld the appeal filed by Eze to affirm his candidacy, as the party’s nominated candidate.By this development, the Appeal Court, therefore, set aside the judgement of Justice Iyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja.

He had earlier ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to replace Eze with George Ogara as the party’s candidate in the state.Justice Aboki voided the Federal High Court decision on the grounds that the suit had become ‘status barred’ and not competent in law, having been filed outside the mandatory 14 days stipulated by Section 285 (9) of the 1999 Constitution.

However, in spite of a court injunction, INEC yesterday declared that Abba Kabiru Yusuf remained Kano State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate.Justice Lewis Allogoa of Federal High Court, Kano had on Monday nullified the PDP gubernatorial primaries in the state and ordered fresh primaries within 14 days.

A PDP gubernatorial aspirant, Ali Aminu Little, had challenged the outcome of the primaries, claiming the Kwankwaso-led faction of PDP denied him the opportunity to participate in the primaries even when he purchased declaration of intent form.Reacting on whether or not, the judgement will affect the PDP candidate in Saturday’s election, Head, Publicity and Voter Education of INEC in Kano, Muhammad Garba Lawan, said Abba of the PDP remains the only recognised candidate, until INEC gives a counter directive.

Meanwhile, a Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja High Court yesterday upheld the candidacy of Adedapo Abiodun as Ogun State APC gubernatorial candidate.Presiding judge, Justice Olukayode Adeniyi, dismissed the suit instituted by a member of APC, AbdulRafiu Adesina Baruwa, praying the court to disqualify Abiodun on the ground that he supplied false information to INEC in his Form CF 001.


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