By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
Calabar – As the Cross River state government welcomes the Appeal Court judgment that elongated the tenure of five governors till next year, the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, has described the judgment as a judicial endorsement of rigging.
The Appeal Court, Friday, upheld the judgment of an Abuja High Court that the tenure of the governors whose victory were upturned and re-run took place would stay in office for a period of four years starting from when they were sworn-in after the re-election.
In their separate reactions in Calabar, the Cross River State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Patrick Ugbe expressed the joy of the government and people of the state and said that the judgment renewed the faith of the people in the judiciary.
Mr. Ugbe who said that the ruling had proved that once again, the judiciary should be trusted and remains the last hope of the common man, noted that from the onset it was clear that there was not going to be governorship elections in the state and that what Governor Liyel Imoke did during the campaign was as the leader of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to introduce other candidates to the electorate.
Besides, he said that it was also an opportunity the governor used to commission projects executed by his administration across the states.
But the National Assistant Secretary of Congress for Progressive Change, Comrade Okoi Ofem Obono-Obla in his reaction said he was disappointed in the judgment and described it as a judicial endorsement of rigging.
Comrade Obono-Obla who was a human rights activist before before joining politics argued that the judgment would promote electoral fraud and also encourage governors to continue to rig elections.
He said it was a very bad judgment and called on the INEC to challenge the judgment in the Supreme Court.
Governor Imoke’s Special Assistant, Media/Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Omin Oden said the Appeal Court judgment will lead to a drop on the anxiety the people of the five states have on the ongoing elections, but he commended the judiciary for living up to its responsibility and restoring the confidence people have on it.
The states that benefits from the tenure elongation include Bayelsa , Kogi, Adamawa, Sokoto and Cross River.