Wednesday, 18 May 2022

Breaking: Another Petition on Criminal Case Surfaces in C'River as PDP sets to Elect Party's Flag Bearer

PDP logo

Politics they say is a dirty game and a game of interest with no permanent friend, no permanent foe. As the primary elections of political parties draws close, several skimmings and political stunts are been released. 

In less than a week after a petition was issued by a section of members of the All Progressive Congress, against the supposed Consensus aspirant, Prince Bassey Otu, another petition have also been issued against a house of assembly aspirant, Augustine Ekeng who seeks to represent the good people of Odukpani. 

If documents sighed by our correspondent will be anything to go by, Augustine may be disqualified from pursuing his legislative dreams as there's a strong petition against him based on the provision of the 2022 amended electoral laws. 

According to the petition written by Ebek Ekere & Co solicitors for Mr. Asuquo Andrew B, a native of Adiabo in Odukpani LGA, Mr. Augustine Ekeng had in May 2020 been convicted of a criminal offence by a customary court sitting in Ndon-Nwong in Odukpani LGA. 

Mr. Augustine Ekeng Okon
PDP HoA Aspirant for Odukpani
State Constituency 

The petitioner who wrote to the National leadership of the PDP, Augustine's party, stated that "if Augustine Ekeng Okon is allowed to participate in the primaries and eventually emerges as the candidate of the party for Odukpani State Constituency, for the 2023 elections, Mr Augustine Ekeng Okon who is an ex-convict will subsequently be disqualified provided for in section 107(1)(d) of the constitution the federal republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) thereby leaving the party without a valid candidate for the Odukpani State Constituency." 

The petition as sighted by one of Correspondent 

The solicitors, therefore, pleaded with the party to ensure that all aspirants are properly screened to ensure the party puts it's best candidate without any blemish to avoid disqualification by the election umpire, INEC. 

According to a court judgment with suit No: CR/3/2000, sighted by our correspondent, Mr Augustine Ekeng was accused of a criminal offense with one Asuquo Ntia Nyong as the complainant.

Delivering his, judgment, the president of the court, Chief Emmanuel E. Okon along side Chief Okon A. Okon and Orok E. Etim as members of the customary court, Mr. Augustine was found guilty of the accusation and fined N450. 

"In accordance with criminal code of section 81(Cap 42) and whereas this matter was reported, as a criminal matter to this court, whereas the findings in this court has proven beyond reasonable doubt that the accused persons have committed the crime. Here the accused persons 1 and 2 has been found guilty of the offence and this court has caution and discharge them. The accused person should pat the cost of the case N450 forthwith". The judgement reads in full. 

Court Judgment as sighted by our correspondent 

If the leadership of the People's Democratic Party would act on this petition, then this may be the end of Augustine's political career. 

When contacted, on the subject matter, Mr Augustine Ekeng told our correspondent that he has never been convicted before by any court of law and that as a law abiding citizen he has been focused in canvassing for votes for the forthcoming primary election of the party and that his what he expects of every other aspirants, instead of looking for ways of slandering and blackmailing others. 

"I have never been convicted by any Law Court before o!  You see, people who are supposed to be campaigning and canvassing for votes are now resorting to cheap blackmail and negative campaigns, that's how bad our society has gone.

But if you saw any court judgement that convicted me, please go ahead and do your work." He said.