The Independent National Electoral Commission, Friday evening, delisted names of the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate, Sen John Owan Enoh and indeed names of all candidates which the party national body submitted to the umpire, saying it was obeying the judgement of the court in suit No: FHC/CA/CL/731/2018
The electoral body says it would now recognize the Etim John-led Executive Committee as authentic executive committee and that names of candidates for the elections submitted by John would be duly recognize in line with the ruling of the court.
INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Dr Frankland Briyai, who addressed Journalists said he was acting on an order as contained in a letter from the commissions’ headquarters in Abuja, dated February 22, 2019, and signed by the Secretary of the Commission, Mrs. Rose Orianran-Anthony, which no more recognized any of the names submitted by the Comrade Adams Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee, as candidates.
His words: “I have an instruction from Abuja to make public to all Cross Riverians in a letter with a heading ‘Forwarding of Commissions’ decision in pursuant of Court order Suit No: FHC/CA/CS/731/2018, Hon Godwin Etim John VS APC and others.’
“The commission has directed that the names of candidates submitted by APC for governorship, senatorial, House of Representatives, and state House of Assembly for Cross River State be removed from the list of candidates for elections in compliance of the said order.
“However, the logo and names of the party shall be retained, pending the submission of the list of candidates from the Godwin Etim John-led state executive and the National Working Committee of APC in compliance with the above order.
“You are requested to update your records with respect to the above order and the list of candidates earlier forwarded to you,” he stated.
Unconfirmed reports say Mr Godwin Etim John had already forwarded names of candidates for the elections to the electoral body with the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Usani replacing Sen John Owan Enoh as governorship candidate. Other names in Etim John’s list submitted could not be ascertained as at press time.
Moreover, there was pandemonium at the INEC headquarters in Cross River State on Friday as thousands of those shortlisted as ad hoc staff for the postponed Presidential and National Assembly elections protested the dramatic replacement of their names allegedly with names of new people who didn’t participate in the INEC training.
Hundreds of angry Corps members blocked the entrance to the Commission’s office in protest and insisted on inclusion of their names. The Police had to use teargas to disperse the angry protesters.
Efforts to confirm with the Resident Electoral Commission the allegation of the Commission replacing names of already trained ad hoc staff with new people could not sail through as the REC did not entertain any question during his brief press conference.