The Cross River State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal has, in suit No: EPT/CR/GOV/02/2023, upheld the election of Governor Bassey Otu of All Progressives Congress (APC).
The tribunal therefore dismissed the petition brought by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for lack of merit.
The suit was jointly instituted by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) governorship standard bearer, Prof. Sandy Onor, and his party against the election of Senator Bassey Otu and the deputy governor, Rt Hon. Peter Odey of All Progressives Congress (APC).
In an unanimous judgement on Tuesday, the Tribunal chairman, Justice Oken Inneh,
held that the issues of qualification of Prince Otu and dual citizenship of Rt. Hon. Peter Odey were pre-election matters and therefore status barred.
Explaining further on the issue of allegation of the Deputy Governor, Hon. Peter Odey (3rd respondent) swearing an oath of allegiance of being British citizen and therefore has dual citizenship, the Tribunal said the matter is statue barred and the petitioners did not exhibits to prove their case neither were there any averrment shown.
On the issue of party’s membership of Rt Hon Odey, the three-man panel held that membership of political party is exclusively party matters and it’s a pre-election issue therefore the petitioners lacks locus standi to challenge it.
Speaking, Counsel to Gov Otu and his deputy Prof Mike Ozekhome said the case filled by the opposition PDP was an abuse of court and therefore dead on arrival.
On his part, Counsel to the PDP, Barr Okem Inneh, said the legal team of the PDP would meet their client to know whether or not to appeal the judgment.