A Federal High Court sitting in Calabar, the Cross River State capital, has sacked the factional governorship candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Senator John Owan Enoh, and other candidates of the party currently recognised by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The court also sacked the factional leadership of the party led by Mr John Ochalla, which is loyal to Owan-Enoh.
In a two-hour judgment, Justice Simon Amobeda, ordered that Usani Usani, be recognised.
He also ordered that “INEC should only receive and accept the names and candidates for the 2019 elections that emerged from the lawful executive led by Godwin Etim John”.
Justice Amobeda also ordered that persons parading themselves as the executive members of the APC in the state should forthwith cease and that the lawful executive of APC in Cross River remains that which is led by Godwin Etim John.
Speaking with journalists on the judgement, counsel to the claimants, Ayei Okpa, explained that “the judgment clearly is in support of the rule of law as it also supports the yearning of the common man”.
He added that, “once a judgment is delivered in a court of law, everyone affected by that judgment is supposed and ought to comply with the said judgment and that is what this court today, has confirmed.
Okpa further stated that INEC is to use and publish only the names that emerged from the lawful executive and not any other name that emerged from any other executive in Cross River State APC.
He said he will ensure that the electoral body complies with the court judgement, adding, “If INEC refuses, the judgment will be enforced against INEC to ensure compliance.”
According to him, “The court has every power under its disciplinary jurisdiction to undo what has been done unlawfully and the electoral act commands INEC to obey section 155 of the Electoral Act to obey where the court gives an order,” pointing out that “INEC has every reason to comply with that order, what INEC did by publishing unlawful names is unlawful.”
Reacting to the judgement, Ntufam Godwin Etim John said, he is very pleased with the court’s ruling and is not surprised with the judgment because according to him, there is no way that one will disobey court injunction, ruling or judgement and expect to go anywhere and get a contrary judgment.