By CrossRiverWatch Admin
Judges of the Appeal Court hearing cases involving Etim John/others versus John Ochala and others including Senator John Owan Enoh representing other APC candidates for the 2019 polls have recused themselves from the suits.
The judges’ withdrawal followed series of petitions written against them by some party leaders. They, however, left valid, the stay of execution order they granted on the case recognising Senator John Owan-Enoh and other candidates of APC who had their names published by INEC as validly-nominated for the election.
The lead judge, Justice S. A. Owoade, had announced to the Court upon arriving. He shared copies of the petitions with Counsel to the parties and asked for their reactions. The petitions were addressed to the President of the Court of Appeal as well as to National Judicial Commission alleging that he had lost confidence in the Justice Owoade-led panel over a purported N250million graft.
The petition did not mention who gave the money and the receiver. Counsel to Senator Owan-Enoh, Awa Kalu (SAN) and the Counsel to the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mba Ukweni (SAN) tried to point out that the petitions should be ignored as the petitions were not dated and not properly routed by the petitioner.
The appellant counsel told the Court that even the petition written to the NJC was a nullity because there was no entity as such in Nigeria. “It is a clear ploy to delay the case which had taken briefs of Counsel and scheduled for hearing”, he maintained.
Counsel to Etim John, Ayei Okpa, feigned ignorance of the petition from his client and asked that he be given time to consult with him. The Court rose for 10 minutes and upon resumption of the session, the judges unanimously recused themselves from the matter.
However, the spokesman of Owan Enoh Campaign Organization, Mr. Dan Amor, stated that the Senator remained the authentic APC candidate for the governorship election. Amor said that Pastor Usani Uguru Usani (Minister of the Niger Delta Affair) had been suspended from the party over alleged anti-party activities by the APC National Working Committee (NEC) and had no locus standi to parade himself as the party’s candidate in the State.
Also, the Director General of Usani Usani Campaign Organisation, Ekpenyong Cobham argued that the judgment of the High Court which made the Minister the substantive APC candidate still stands until it is vacated by the Court.
Culled from Leadership Newspaper.
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