- An organisation on Thursday, May 19, alleged that some individuals had sent a petition written with a fake name and address to the screening committee of the APC
- The petitioner in the letter claimed that Senator Bassey Otu, a governorship aspirant on the platform of the ruling All Progreessives Congress is a fraudster
- However, GCCLAC so ascertained that Senator Otu served his former employer meritoriously before he resigned his appointment to venture into politics
A civil society organisation has alleged moves by some individuals to frustrate the efforts being invested into the political career of Senator Bassey Otu, a 2023 governorship aspirant under the platform of the All Progressives Congress.
The director-general, Nwambu Gabriel, the Global Centre for Conscious Living Against Corruption (GCCLAC), said that some political jobbers using fictitious identities are trying everything possible to stop Otu's candidacy ahead of the Cross River governorship election.
Speaking at a press briefing in Abuja on Thursday, May 19, Gabriel said a petition addressed to the state screening committee of the APC in Cross River state claimed that Senator Otu had been convicted of fraud.
Gabriel noted that petition dated May 14, 2022, and signed by one Bala Dakum alleged that Otu committed the crime while working with his former employer, Mercantile Bank of Nigeria Plc.
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The petitioner claimed that this alleged offence is in contravention of the provisions of section 182 (e) of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
However, Gabriel in his address said that the GCCLAC conducted an independent but thorough verification and fact-finding exercise to ascertain the veracity and facts of this grave allegation.
Findings of the civil society organisation
According to Gabriel, the centre in its findings discovered that the name of the individual who purportedly signed the petition is nonexistent and that the address used by the petitioner does not exist in reality.
He added that the GCCLAC also ascertained that Senator Otu served his former employer meritoriously before he resigned his appointment to venture into politics.
"Senator Otu was even bestowed with a meritorious service award by his former employer for his examplary conduct and dedication to duty.
"That the distinguished Senator Edet Otu was never accused of any allegation bothering on fraud, was never convicted, and therefore has not contravened section 182 (e) as alleged by the ghost petitioner."
Noting that Otu is a graduate of Social Sciences from University of Calabar, Gabriel confirmed that the Cross River governirship aspirant has served as a two-term member of House of Representatives for Calabar Municipal/Odukpani between May 2003 and May 2011.
Otu has also served as a senator representing soouthern senatorial district of Cross River state from June 2011 to June 2015 and contested elections in 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019 respectively.
"He has been consistently screened by all the relevant agencies of government.
From the forgoing, it becomes evident that this fiction exists only in the mind of the author of this script which was orchestrated, premeditated, designed to mutilate the impeccable integrity of Distinguished Senator Bassey Edet Otu who has served this nation meritoriously, performed creditably well, and has made his mark in banking and public service respectively."
"In other word, Otu should be commended for his selfless and exemplary leadership style."
"We want to enjoin Nigerians and indeed all persons aspiring for public position of trust to face the realities of politics rather than the ‘Pull Him Down Syndrome’ which is inimical to deepening democracy in Nigeria but sadly has dominated our political space."
APC presidential aspirant buys senatorial form as backup plan
Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River had made a very wise decision ahead of the 2023 general elections.
The young and vibrant governor who is an APC presidential aspirant also has his eyes on a senatorial seat in his state.
In fact, Ayade has gone ahead to get himself a senatorial form of the ruling party as what some have termed a backup plan.
2023: Suspense as APC orders aspirants to sign withdrawal letter
Meanwhile, there is a ‘Letter of Withdrawal’ attached to the APC's expression of interest and nomination forms for aspirants to fill.
The aspirants are expected to submit the letter alongside other forms and credentials was generating controversy in the party.
The said withdrawal letter was addressed to Abdulahi Adamu, the national chairman of the APC, and should be signed by a commissioner of oath/public notary before submission.