by crossriverwatch admin
The Chairman of the Cross River State Independent Electoral Commission, CROSIEC, Patrick Otu is my bossom friend.
Although he is biological my senior I consider him my bossom friend. We struck friendship about 1992 when both of us were avid followers of the political aspiration and ambition of Chief Wilfred Oden Inah, OFR.
Chief Wilfred Inah sought to contest for the position of Governor of Cross River State under the platform of the defunct National Republican Convention, NRC. However Chief Inah lost the Primary Election of the NRC to Mr. Clement David Ebri who eventually won the election and became Governor of Cross River State in 1992.
Mr. Ebri defeated Prince Ojong who contested under the platform of the defunct Social Democratic Party, SDP. Patrick Otu was an idealistic teacher, then. He was teaching at Estate Secondary School, Calabar.
He then struck me as a very principled and intelligent person. Later, Patrick Otu was appointed a member of the State Primary School Management Board under the military regime of Colonel F. Ahmed.
This is how Patrick Otu shot into State limelight. When Patrick Otu was appointed Chairman of CROSIEC by Governor Donald Duke in 2004 or thereabout, I was exceedingly delighted. I thought Patrick Otu would bring his wealth of experience and character to bear.
Patrick Otu is a through and through Christian of the Catholic faith. Indeed he is a Knight of the Catholic Church. As a Knight he is required to be principled, courageous, chivalrous and straight.
However it seems the perks of public office has changed my friend drastically. Nowadays, Patrick Otu talks and behaves like an archetypical Nigerian Public Servant of the PDP variant.
Patrick Otu now double speaks. Patrick Otu has done two things recently concerning the scheduled Local Government Elections that has terribly shaken the trust and confidence I used to repose on him.
About four weeks ago I received a phone call from Patrick Otu. He said to me “We in CROSIEC want your party, APC to contest the local government elections but the PDP is averse to that. So I want APC to write to CROSIEC to extend the time for the election. If we receive such a letter, CROSIEC would surely extend the time”.
I was glad after our conversation. I called the Minority Leader of APC in the House of Assembly, Hon. Alex Irek to tell him. It was on the strength of this that Hon. Irek wrote a letter to the National Secretary of the APC, Tijani Musa Tsumah impressing on him the need for the Party to write to CROSEIC.
On the 23rd August 2013, Mr. Tsumah wrote to the Chairman of CROSIEC requesting for extension of time for the local government elections in the State by 3 months in view of the registration of APC on 31/7/2013 by INEC to enable APC commence processes to nominate its candidates for the elections.
The letter was served on CROSIEC on the same 23/8/2013. Surprisingly on the 24/8/2013, Patrick Otu hurriedly arranged a meeting with some political parties including PDP. In the meeting Patrick Otu pronounced APC ineligible to contest on the ground it was registered less than 90 days to the date of the elections.
On the 26/8/2013, I instituted two cases in the High Court and Federal High Court respectively challenging the decision of CROSIEC to stop APC from contesting the elections. CROSIEC was served on the 29/8/2013 with the processes. However CROSEIC came to Court when the matter came up to deny service.
The Court over ruled the objection of CROSIEC and adjourned the case to 12 /9/2013. Curiously on 5/9/2013 Patrick Otu called a press conference in Calabar to reiterate that CROSIEC would go ahead with the elections and that APC is not eligible to contest.
Patrick Otu runs commentaries on the issues that are the subject matter of the cases filed by APC pending in the High Court. This is regretable. The conduct of Patrick Otu portray that CROSIEC has no respect for the Court.
It was uncharitable and contemptuous for Patrick Otu to run comments on matters that are sub judice. It does not depict him as a gentleman, a Knight and a law abiding citizen. It is clear that Patrick Otu is dancing to the tunes of PDP and the Government of Cross River State.
He has compromised his oath of office and faith as a Knight of the Catholic Church. The opposition in the State has lost confidence in CROSIEC. I therefore call on Sir Patrick Otu and his Commissioners to resign forthwith.
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