The report of suspension of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Usani, by the National Working Committee, NWC, of the party has been rejected by a faction of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Cross River state led by Godwin Etim John, saying the Comrade Adams Oshiomhole-led NWC erred as it refused to follow extant laws of the party regarding such issues.
The faction, which described the said suspension as a huge joke taken too far, posited that “the constitution of the party is clear on cases of suspension,” and that such act cannot stand in the eyes of extant laws on which the party is built.
Addressing Journalists in Calabar, Sunday, the Director General of Usani Campaign organization, Ekpenyong Cobham, said the National Chairman had initially attempted to embark on unilateral action against aggrieved party members but was called to order by the President.
Cobham insisted that the party’s constitution “clearly sites circumstances and outlines procedures to be taken to warrant and effect suspension,” adding that “if any suspension exists, Usani has not received any notification from any organ of the party regarding any form of suspension.
According to him, any suspension which does not follow extant laws of the party does not exist, arguing that the loyalty of Pastor Usani to the cause of the APC has made him the symbol of the party in Cross River State .
The party Chieftain explained further that Minister “has shown sufficient loyalty by helping the party poll 722 votes against PDP’s 2 votes (in his polling unit) and more than 4000 votes for APC against less than 1000 votes for PDP in his Abanankpai council ward in the just concluded presidential elections,” and that “Usani is the APC leader in the State to produce his federal constituency representatives in the last Saturday’s general elections.”
“To accuse such a man of anti-party activities and claim to suspend him from the party he has helped to build is a joke taken too far, and unacceptable. To use our party to settle personal and domestic scores is unacceptable, and the perpetrators must be called to order.”
He advised the public to disregard any rumour of purported suspension of Usani because, according to him, such rumours were meant to dismiss the fortunes of the party in the March 9, 2019 polls, adding “the status quo as per the last known declarative orders of court still holds Usani’s candidacy.”
The DG also described as misleading and misinterpretation of fact the media reports that the Appeal Court sitting in Calabar had pronounced John Owan Enoh as candidate of APC in March 9, 2019 governorship contest, explaining that the ‘Stay of Execution Order’ issued by the court did not stamp legitimacy on Sen John Owan Enoh as party candidate.
To prove his assertion, the DG made available to reporters photocopy of the said court order which stated: “That stay of execution of the judgement in suit No FHC/CA/CS/23/2018 between Hon Godwin Etim John & Anor V All Progressives Congress and 3 ORS delivered on 11/2/2019 (subject matter of this appeal) is hereby granted pending the hearing and determination of this appeal.”
He explained that it was only an ignorant and typical fool who would not understand such simple grammar which he said does not in any way confer legitimacy on the Senator’s ambition to become the party’s candidate, but that the matter of immediate implementation of the judgement was only put on hold pending determination of the case.
Recall that the Federal High Court sitting in Calabar had recognized Godwin Etim John-led State Executive Committee as authentic Exco and ruled that only names of candidates submitted by the Etim John Exco be accepted by INEC to stand in the general elections. INEC had accordingly delisted Sen Owan Enoh’s names and others from list of candidates for the polls. John Ochala’s faction, in which Sen Owan Enoh is a strong member, had accordingly appealed the High Court judgment and prayed for stay of execution. The Appeal Court had, last Wednesday, granted the request