Thursday, 7 October 2021

National Sports Election: Court jails C'Riverian as Ekanem Berates Duke

It is no news that Cross River State lost out in all the elections to elect sports administrators to man the 36 sports Federations in the country, but the fall out of the election especially the recently held election for the Table Tennis Federation is what many has described as a show of shame. 

Recent developments has it that as a fall out of the said show of shame in Abuja, an Abuja Area Court grade 1 sitting in Mpape, Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory has remanded one Victor Godwin in prison for assaulting David Ekanem Ekpenyong, the Director of Maintenance in the Cross River State Sports Commission.

Ekpenyong was beaten by thugs allegedly associated with a former Chairman of the Sports Commission, Orok Otu Duke during the election into executive positions of the Nigerian Table Tennis Federation on September 30, 2021 at the National Stadium in Abuja.

Viral video clips showed a group of people manhandling Ekpenyong while a security official tried to intervene. In another clip, Mr. Duke had a heated argument with the electoral officials over whom the delegate from Cross River was.

In a third clip, a man suspected to be a companion of Mr. Ekpenyong could be heard telling Mr. Duke that he had nothing show during his tenure and asked him to produce Mr. Ekpenyong.

The Police is said to have arrested Mr. Godwin and arraigned him on Monday morning. His counsel made an oral application for bail which was countered by the prosecution.

And, the presiding Magistrate adjourned the matter until November 8, 2021 for the defendants to file a written application for bail since the accused was not resident in Abuja and within the jurisdiction of the court.

Initial findings show that Mr. Godwin is resident in Ward 5, Calabar South Local Government Area of Cross River State.

Mr. Duke had accused Mr. Ekpenyong of forging a letter that he was the delegate, an allegation Ekpenyong denies and says Duke had no business being there as he was duly nominated to represent the State's Table Tennis Association.

When contacted, Ekanem Ekpenyong had this to say; "if you are given a position and the last person whose tenure has elapsed keeps interfering in the operations of the place, how will you feel and what will you do?"

"I don't have a problem with Chief Orok Duke as a person, but his overbearing interest in the Cross River State Sports Commission, a commission that is no longer under his watch is sickening. What is his interest? What is he pursuing there? Or maybe, what did he forget?"

"Ordinarily, if one has a passion for a thing, you meet with the new leadership and try to work together with them and not commandeer the entire process".

"Yes! He has been there but when his tenure elapsed, he was supposed to hand over honourably but what was he doing, he was busy castigating the very commission and government that own and operates the process he wants to continue to function in. You will agree with me that he has conducted more media engagements than the entire Ministry of Sports in the state. Who was fighting him? No one obviously. My elder brother monopolised the entire table tennis and ran the affairs for more than 16years. Longer than even the two terms of any democratically elected governor of a state, who does that?"

"Is the table tennis any annexure of your family or something? The Sports Commission has leadership and we work directly with the national body. He was not the person sent by the state, he knows the process. So, for him to do what he did, shows how intoxicated he is for power. He had me serially beaten, he went to the extent of having me abducted as well simply because I told him the truth".

"I believed you saw the video, this is a man who was a law maker in the state and was even a Deputy Speaker who was touted to be aspiring for a higher office then. A member of the state contingent at the National Conference. What is he looking for please for God sake? I can't wrap my head around it".

"Well, the matter is in court and it will be unfair to begin to make speculations now but the truth is, I am very disappointed. He should have see how he can build people not usurping this position. There is nothing wrong if he supports a young man in that position or throw his support on the candidate of the government, after all, it's still Cross River State", he concluded.