Cross River State Election Petition Tribunal Upholds Governor Bassey Otu’s Victory

Governor Bassey Otu’s Victory Confirmed

The Cross River State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal has delivered its verdict, affirming the election of Governor Bassey Otu from the All Progressives Congress (APC).

This decision comes after a petition was filed by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and its gubernatorial candidate, Prof. Sandy Onor, contesting the outcome of the March 18 gubernatorial election.

Unanimous Tribunal Ruling

In a unanimous judgment rendered on Tuesday, September 26, the Tribunal, chaired by Justice Oken Inneh, addressed the key issues raised in the petition.

The Tribunal’s ruling clarified the status of Prince Otu’s qualification and the matter of dual citizenship attributed to Rt. Hon. Peter Odey.

Pre-Election Matters: Qualification and Dual Citizenship

The Tribunal firmly asserted that the questions surrounding the qualification of Prince Otu and the dual citizenship allegations against Rt. Hon.

Peter Odey were pre-election issues. As such, these matters were deemed to be status-barred and beyond the scope of the Tribunal’s jurisdiction.

Lack of Supporting Evidence

Regarding the specific issue of Rt. Hon. Peter Odey’s alleged dual citizenship due to an oath of allegiance to British citizenship, the Tribunal found that the petitioners failed to provide sufficient evidence to substantiate their claims.

No exhibits or averments were presented to support this allegation.

Party Membership as a Pre-Election Issue

Addressing the matter of Rt. Hon. Odey’s party membership, the Tribunal emphasized that membership in a political party is an internal party matter. Consequently, it falls under the purview of pre-election issues.

The petitioners were deemed to lack locus standi, or legal standing, to challenge this aspect of the case.

The Cross River State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal’s verdict has effectively upheld the election of Governor Bassey Otu, reaffirming the APC’s victory in the gubernatorial election.

The Tribunal’s ruling clarified the nature of the issues raised and their relevance to pre-election matters, ultimately determining the petitioners’ lack of standing to challenge certain aspects of the case.

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