Counsel to the All Progressive Congress, APC, in Cross River State, Okoi Obono-Obla, has carpeted CRS governor, Liyel Imoke, the Cross River State House of Assembly, CRSHA, and the Chairman of the Cross River State Independent Electoral Commission, CROSIEC, Patrick Otu for what he described as their roles in the local council polls conducted on September 21, 2013, across the state.
Obono-Obla’s online statement, obtained by calitown.com and coming on the heels of the governor’s media parley recently, described Imoke’s citing of Section 84, sub-section 2 of the Electoral Act of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as the reason why APC was excluded from the polls, “as a ruse”. He insisted that sub-sections 1 and 2, listed the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC and not CROSIEC, as responsible for that function. “In any case, it was contemptuous for Governor Imoke to run commentary on a matter that is sub judice”, a direct reference to the governor’s widely reported statements on the LG polls.
On the Cross River State House of Assembly, CRSHA, the APC counsel called on the Assembly “to be alive to its constitutional responsibility and constitute immediately a committee to investigate the role played by Governor Imoke in influencing CROSIEC to capriciously and arbitrarily exclude APC from participating in the local government elections purportedly conducted on 21/9/2013”. He however doubted the ability of the CRSHA to do this claiming the Assembly “has abdicated its constitutional jurisdiction as a watchdog and a check on the Executive branch of government”, becoming like he further claimed, “…more or less…a debating society”.
For Otu, the CROSIEC chairman, Obono-Obla said he was “…ready to compel MTN to release my call data between 6th August to 7th August (2013) to prove that the denial of Mr. Otu is an after thought”. Recall that Obono-Obla had disclosed in the days leading to and after the polls, a phone engagement he supposedly had with Otu where he claimed the CROSIEC chairman confided in him that he was under pressure from the PDP to exclude APC from the polls and the latter’s denial thereafter. He again “challenged Mr Otu to also consent to MTN releasing the call data of his phone between 6-10 August, 2013.
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