Cross River State chapter of the All Progressive Congress (APC) has sunk deep into danger as Cross River State Independent Electoral Commission (CROSIEC) rejected the list of candidates from (John Ochala led faction).
Chairman of the rejected faction, John Ochala said he has been in court with CROSIEC because of certain anomalies.
“First was when Governor Ayade in his late first tenure, dissolved all boards, agencies and commissions in the state and when he came during his second term, he did not constitute these boards and commissions but asked CROSIEC to go ahead and conduct election.
“We challenged this in court. Secondly, they did not update voter’s registers and those with eighteen years and above who are supposed to vote during the election have not been included in the register.
“And thirdly, the law said that Chief Judge should set up an election appeal tribunal 30 days before the elections. This has not been done. If these anomalies continue, there will be no election.
“As a party man, I feel disappointed that we have joggers as leaders in our state who don’t see things as they are, it is unfortunate. I am still in court with them, and government should do the needful and must do the right thing,” he stated.
Reacting to this while speaking to our correspondent via phone on Friday, the Chairman of CROSIEC, Dr Mike Ushie lamented the attitude of the two factions of APC in the state.
He said the commission rejected the list of candidates submitted by the John Ochala’s faction of APC ahead of the March 28 local government elections.
“I am in Lagos. You know that the All Progressive Congress (APC) has two factional parties, each faction was coming with court judgment so what I did as the Chairman of the electoral body was to send the set of the judgment to our legal team/department.
“I sent another set to an Independent legal team and another set to the Attorney General of Cross River State for their opinions.
“Their opinions were all in favour of Etim John led faction of APC. You know I am not a lawyer but when the groups came, I told them that whatsoever my legal team said is what I will do and that was what happened, and we recognised Etim John faction.
“Secondly, it is Etim John faction that fielded candidates for the elections but the other group did not field any candidate. What they did was that they went against the Commission’s guideline and paid but I told my accountant that we will refund the money to them because the money was not for the form.
“Thirdly, they didn’t come for the form but after the forms were sold, Ochala came with his lawyer and I told them that they were not doing well. On the election petition tribunal, the tribunal will be constituted, it is not my fault that we don’t have a substantive Chief Judge. My own is that we are going to do it and the election will hold on 28 March. We will constitute the election petition tribunal.”