Cross River Assembly tells INEC to conduct election to replace APC member



The Cross River State House of Assembly (CRSHA) has ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct election to fill the vacant position in the House following declaration of the seat of Obubra II state constituency’s vacant.

INEC was given a window of 180 days to conduct the election.
The House leadership through the Speaker, Rt. Hon. John Gaul Lebo, endorsed the resolution.
The occupant of the seat, Hon Okura Elucate Ekom who represents the Obubra 11 State Constituency, had defected to All Progressive Congress (APC) from People’s Democratic Party (PDP) last month and the House declared his seat vacant.
The House leadership in a motion moved by Leader of the House, Hon. Moses Ocheche, member representing Obanlikwu state constituency invoked section 109(g)2 to punish Okura for defecting to APC.
In his reaction, Hon Okura Elucate Ekom, said that his defection was not masterminded by anybody and that it was personal decision.
He debunked allegations that his defection to the All Progressives Congress (APC) was influenced by Senator John Owan Enoh, Senator representing Cross River Central Senatorial District at the National Assembly.
The lawmaker said, “Nobody should correlate my defection interest to Sen. John Owan Enoh. I had taken pains to explain to some of my leaders that the decision I took wasn’t masterminded by Sen. John Owan Enoh”.
“You can’t hold John Owan Enoh liable for my decision in any way. He is not aware that I have taken this decision. I addressed the house and told them that they are taking a decision based on a correspondent that I sent to the house.
 “I already articulated my reasons for defecting to another party and those reasons find credence in the constitutional window. In that section, I explained the fact that, the section is talking about defecting to a party other than the one you contested election, except that the party from which you have defected from has official crisis.
“I explained the crisis which rocked the party since it convention in Port Harcourt up till the day I took the decision. The resolution of the crises is just merely on Friday and indeed a justification of the fact that there were crisis which was a basis of my decision”.
The lawmaker claimed that the legislature have no competence to explain matters of such nature as were better explained by court of competence jurisdiction.
On the allegation that Okura came under persecution because of his perceived relationship with Sen. John Owan Enoh, over alleged disagreement with Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State, he stated, “They are getting it wrong for tying people to your enemies in any case.”
“If John Enoh is enemy to somebody, you don’t make his friends your enemies as well. But they have made some of us their enemies because of Sen. John Owan”.
“So anything I do now is Sen. John Owan Enoh? This is gross abuse to my integrity and personality.”
When asked if he would go to court to seek redress, he replied, “if the decision that I took have affected the political party, I think the party has a national character and the party will definitely wade into the matter”.

It was reported that Sen. John Owan Enoh was a political ally of Governor Ayade until recently when their friendship got soured due to political indifference.
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