The former senator representing Cross River south, Bassey Otu, may be stopped from vying for the All Progressives Congress(APC) governorship ticket in Cross River State, a source close to the aspirant has revealed.
According to the source, the aspirant did not meet many of the requirements set by the party, hence the reason he could be stopped from the gubernatorial race.
It would be recalled that in a petition dated May 14 and addressed to the screening committee in the state, written by some members of APC through their lawyer, Bala Dakum, had asked the party to disqualify Otu on the grounds that he had allegedly been convicted of fraud and is not qualified to run for office.
The petition read in part, “Our clients briefed us that they are concerned members of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Cross River State.
“Our clients reliably gathered that senator Bassey Edet Otu has obtained the All Progressive Congress (APC) nomination and expression of interest forms to vie for the position of governor of Cross River State in the forthcoming 2023 general elections,” the petition reads.
“As dedicated party loyalists, they are passionate and committed to the party and will not fold their hands and watch the state taken over by another political party as a result of nomination of aspirants who may end up being disqualified by the court hence the need to petition you.
“The said senator Bassey Edet Otu is alleged to have been convicted for defrauding his former employer Mercantile Bank of Nigeria Plc in charge NO. HC/1010C/1987. This is in breach of the provisions of section 182 (e) of the 1999 constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria which prohibits persons like senator Bassey Edet Otu from being elected as governors.
“Our clients shall furnish you with certified true copies of the said judgment. Our clients have also uncovered plans by his erstwhile party (Peoples Democratic Party), the major opposition party in the state.
“That in the likely event that senator Bassey Edet Otu eventually emerges as the APC candidate for the 2023 gubernatorial election in Cross Rivers state, the People’s Democratic Party will approach the court to disqualify him.
“This process may drag on in court and Senator Bassey Edet Otu may be disqualified when it is too late for the party to replace him and the party may end up not participating in the gubernatorial election in Cross River State or lose the seat if he eventually wins.”
The petitioners also alleged that the former senator failed to make full disclosure of his educational qualification.
“The only information available is that he attended the University of Calabar wherein he obtained bachelor’s degree in social science,” they said.
“There is a need for senator Bassey Edet Otu to tell the party much more about himself. This must be taken seriously because the People’s Democratic Party is doing everything possible to take over the state.
“We, therefore, urge this noble committee to do everything possible to ensure that only competent people with credible and impeccable records are cleared to contest so that the All Progressive Congress (APC) does not lose out as it experienced in Zamfara State and Rivers state in 2019.”