Obong Of Calabar Urges Electorate To Maintain Current Zoning Formula

 

The Obong of Calabar, His Eminence, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu V has appealed to the electorates in Cross River State to maintain the current zoning formula that has encouraged political stabilization and peace across it’s three senatorial districts.

This, according to the tradition ruler will allow the Northern Senatorial District to retain the governorship position for another four-year term in order to be at par with other Senatorial districts.

Speaking when he played host to the State governor, Prof. Ben Ayade, the Obong commended Ayade for his developmental strides and sort for his reelection.

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In the same vein, Professor Ben Ayoade’s support base received a boost with his endorsement by the leadership of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, and Labour Party, LP in the state.

The two parties said their adoption of the governor was predicated on his record in office in the last three and a half years.

The governor, accepting the adoptions thanked the leadership of the SDP and Labour Party, describing the action as a celebration of civilization and maintained that, upon the completion of his second term in office in 2023, power, in line with the rotational principle in the state, will shift to Cross River Southern Senatorial zone.

Appeal Court Sacks Obong of Calabar

The Appeal court sitting in Calabar, the Cross River State capital, on Thursday ruled in favour of the removal of the Obong of Calabar, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu (V) as the grand patriarch of the Efik kingdom.

The lead judgement was delivered by Justice Mohammed Lawal Garba and confirmed by Justice Uzo Ndukwe-Anyawu and Onyekachi Otisi upholding the earlier judgement of the lower court that due process was not followed and the selection of the incumbent was null and void.

The Calabar High Court presided over by Justice Obgojor Ogar had in a judgement suit number HC/102/2008 on January, 2012, brought by one of the contestants of the Obong stool, Etubom Anthony Ani, declared the process that brought the Obong to the throne as null and void and restrained the appointed King from participating in any selection for that purpose.

Justice Ogar restrained the Obong from parading himself as the Obong of Calabar until proper election has been done and also restrained the Etubom traditional council, from excluding Etubom Anthony Ani and Nbiabo Ikoneto from any election or selection of an obong.

In an abridged 94 paged judgement that lasted for about an hour, Justice Garba said, “for the breach of principles and natural justice and the first respondent’s, Anthony Ani’s, right to fair hearing, the selection process conducted by the appellant which terminated in the selection and proclamation of the respondent, Otu, by the Etuboms Council is null and void.”


Accordingly, Justice Garba said, the Etubom conclave of the palace of the Obong of Calabar ordered the court to conduct another process of selecting a new Obong in which all qualified candidates including the sixth respondent will be given the opportunity to participate in accordance with the provisions of exhibit 1/20 and in strict compliance with the rules of natural justice.

Reacting to the judgement, council to the Obong, Rebecca Tanga as well as that of Etubom Ani , Bassey Offiong respondent, Etubom Anthony Ani  say all hope is not lost following Thursday’s judgement which nullifies the throne and leaves the Obong seat vacant.