The Cross River governorship candidate of the All Progressives Party, APC, in the 2023 general elections has scored yet another victory in his march towards winning the election, barley two months after defeating Sen John Owan Enoh in another challenge to his candidacy.
The landmark judgment was delivered by Justice R.O. Dugbo Oghohorie of the Federal High Court, sitting in Calabar,on 24th November, 2022.The suit, no FHC/CA/CS/142/2022, was filed by PDP and Senator Sandy Onoh against the APC, Senator Bassey Otu, his running mate, Peter Agbe Odey and INEC.
Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN who filed and extensively argued the address of Senator Bassey Otu and Honourable Peter Odey against the PDP and Senator John Enoh.
Justice Oghohorie upheld the arguments canvassed by Chief Ozekhome, whilst delivering her judgment and dismissed in its entirety, the suit filed by the PDP and its Governorship candidate, Sandy Ojang Onor which challenged the eligibility of Senator Prince Bassey Edet Otu and Hon. Peter Agbe Odey as the Governorship and Deputy Governorship candidates respectively of their party, the APC had in the suit commenced by Originating Summons, contended that the candidacy of Peter Odey was unconstitutional in that
a). He is not a duly registered member of the APC and
b). He has a dual citizenship having sworn to an oath of allegiance to the UK.
The court, held that the uncontroverted evidence before the court clearly showed that Peter Odey was duly registered in his ward as a member of the APC. On the second vexed issue of dual citizenship, the court agreed with Ozekhome that Peter Odey from the evidence before court, is a citizen of Nigeria by birth and therefore his citizenship of the UK can not vitiate his eligibility to contest for the office of the Deputy Governor of Cross River State. The court therefore concluded that the suit of the plaintiffs was devoid of any merit whatsoever and found accordingly dismissed same. By the said judgement, Senator Prince Bassey Otu and Honourable Peter Odey remain the validly nominated candidates by the APC to contest the offices of Governor and Deputy Governor respectively, come 2023, the ctourt ruled.