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Cross River: Tribunal orders APC Governorship candidate to serve Ayade through substituted means

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The Cross River State Governorship Tribunal sitting in Calabar has granted Senator John Owan-Enoh, the All Progressives Congress, APC, governorship candidate in the March 9, 2019 election, an order for substituted service on Governor Ben Ayade, who by INEC arrangements, won the gubernatorial election on the platform of the PDP.

Sen. Owan Enoh, a serving senator representing the central district of the state and Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Usani Uguru Usani had been in a tough battle over who is the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, until the matter was recently settled through two High Court and two Appeal Court judgements in favour of Sen. John Owan Enoh.

Owan-Enoh in a suit with number EPT/CAL/GOV/01/2019 had dragged Ayade and INEC, first and second respondents respectively to court. The Counsel to Owan-Enoh, M. O. Inyang, who held brief for Awa Kalu, in a motion exparte application for hearing, sought an order seeking substituted service on the first respondent (Ayade).

In a motion ex parte dated April 8, 2019 and filed on April 9, Inyang said there are four grounds for the application, but the paramount was the fact that the bailiff of the court had made fervent efforts to service Ayade personally to no avail.

The application was supported by a three-paragraph affidavit, an exhibit, which was the affidavit of non-service, as well as a written address in support of the application. Chairman of the three-man governorship panel, Justice Josiah Majebi, said the application had merit and granted that Ayade can be served by pasting the notice of service on the wall of the PDP State secretariat along Murtala Mohammed Highway.

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