By Jonathan Ugbal
The Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on prosecution, Chief Okoi Obono-Obla has described as false, reports that an Abuja High Court declared factional guber candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Usani Usani as the authentic flag bearer of the party in Cross River State.
Justice Valentine B. Ashi had on Monday ruled that all parties involved in the case; Mr. Usani who is the claimant and, the three defendants – the APC, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as well as another factional guber candidate, John Owan-Enoh to “keep and maintain the status quo as it exists presently.”
And, several Newspapers including this Newspaper had reported that the implication was that Mr. Usani had won one fight in the battle to be declared the authentic guber candidate.
But, Mr. Obono-Obla took to Facebook earlier today to clarify that the order given by Justice Valentine was misreported.
“The report that a High Court in Abuja has declared somebody the Governorship candidate of APC is utterly misleading and therefore false!” Mr. Obono-Obla wrote on Friday morning.
He continued: “I have seen the Order, and painstakingly studied it; and I boldly say that the said Order doesn’t by any stretch of imagination conveys what has been reported by an online news medium.
“The order says the defendants should show cause on the next adjourned date why the reliefs sought in the ex parte motion should not granted.”
The Order paper obtained by CrossRiverWatch showed that the matter was adjourned to Wednesday, October 17, 2018.
As at press time, CrossRiverWatch was yet to obtain details of the proceedings from Wednesday’s court session.
However, Obono-Obla further averred that: “The order further says the status quo ante should be maintained pending the hearing of the motion on notice.
“What is the status quo ante? The status quo was the existing state of affairs before the parties submitted their matter to court or before the matter was filed in court.
“It follows, that the status quo ante was that Senator John Owan-Enoh’s name, was cleared by the National Working Committee of the Party on or about the 6 October 2018. Subsequently, Senator John Owan-Enoh was forwarded to INEC before this case was filed. The Order did not restrain APC from forwarding the name of Senator John Owan-Enoh! It says maintain the status quo ante!”
Parallel primaries had held in Cross River State on September 30 and October 1, 2018 with Usani who is the Niger Delta Affairs minister and Owan-Enoh, the Senator representing Cross River Central emerging as winners respectively.
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