The Appeal Court had frowned at what it described as INEC’s misinterpretation, and misinformation of the public on her earlier order of February 20 which directed that parties in the matter to maintain “Status Quo Ante” pending the determination of the substantive case.
A Judgment of the Federal High Court Calabar, delivered by Justice Simon A. Amobeda on February 11, in the case filed by Etim John and two others challenging the legitimacy of the current State Executive Committee of the APC in Cross River State, led by late Sir Mathew Achigbe who is now being represented in acting capacity by his deputy, Sir John Ochala, declared that Etim John and other members of his factional executive committee of the APC in the state be taken as the legitimate state exco of the party. The judge also went further to pronounce that other candidates from the list submitted by Etim John should be recognized by INEC. The Federal High Court Judgment prompted the appeal for which the stay of execution has been granted.
At the last hearing of the matter before the appellate court, the panel had reminded the parties to the suit that the matters before it would be granted accelerated hearing, and therefore directed the counsel to parties in suit no.
CA/C/62/2019 to summit their addresses not latter than Friday, March 1 before adjourning the matter for Monday, March 4.
However, at the resumed hearing the judges recuse themselves from the case, but did not temper with the stay of execution order they granted on February 27 which recognised Owan-Enoh, as the governorship candidate of the APC, as well as Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba and others whose names were published by INEC as candidate for the National Assembly, and state Assembly elections.
On the resumption of hearing on Monday, Justice Owoade had announced to the court that upon arriving his chambers in the morning, he was served with two petitions written by Etim John.
Thereafter, he distributed copies of the petitions with counsels to the parties and demanded their reactions.
Both petitions addressed, separately to the President of the Court of Appeal, and the National Judicial Commission, (a non – existing commission ), alleged that he has lost confidence in the Justice Owoade-led panel because of allegation of N250million graft making the rounds about the court.