By Our Reporter
Hearing to determine the authentic gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives in Cross River State resumed today at the Federal High Court in Calabar presided over by Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu.
At the resumed hearing, counsel for the plantiff acknowledged being served in open court by counsel for the 3rd defendant, he however, maintained that they received the soft copy later yesterday.
Addressing the court, counsel for the 3rd defendant, Mike Ozekhome informed the court that since the counsel for the plaintiff failed to respond to the objection to the application for subpoena, it therefore means that he has consented that the action was dead on arrival. Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu then struck out process for the subpoena owing to the withdrawal of the counsel to the plantiff, Awa Kalu, SAN.
With that, counsel for the plantiff went into the matter, arguing that the 3rd defendant was not fully cleared as stipulated by the APC constitution which mandates that all aspirants must be cleared by a screening committee setup by the party before such can contest any election.
Addressing the court, counsel for the 1st defendant, Essien Andrew SAN, maintained that the screening and clearance of aspirants for a political office is an internal party affair, insisting that such is usually done by either the screening committees or the national working committee.
He maintained that the 1st defendant was the only party to say whether the 3rd defendant was cleared or not. He maintained that the 3rd defendant was not only cleared but so properly done.
Responding, counsel to the 3rd defendant, Mike Ozekhome, SAN, notified the court of a preliminary objection filed before the court on 6 of June 2022. He referred the court to sections of the APC constitution which maintains that, where a candidate is not cleared, the screening committee must issue a letter of non clearance from the committee to the aspirant, in which case, the 3rd defendant was never issued with such certificate.
Presiding judge, Ijeoma Ojukwu in her ruling, adjourned the matter for October 24, 2022 for judgement.