June 13, 2024

TNN Newspaper

a commitment to responsible journalism

Why, John Gaul Why Another Litigation Against Alex Egbona?

4 min read

It first came as speculations. And before long, it became confirmed that John Gaul Lebo, immediate past speaker of the Cross River State House of Assembly and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for the Abi/Yakurr Federal Constituency seat had returned to the election petition tribunal, after losing the rerun that was conducted by INEC on January 25 this year.
Not a few persons have pilloried John Gaul for the decision to challenge the outcome of the rerun. In fact, most of those who have reacted angrily to the new court case did so against the background of the counsel by Senator Liyel Imoke, that those who lost during the rerun should avoid further litigations so that the state and federal constituency where the elections took place can move on.
Imoke is a respected voice from the central senatorial district. He is a former governor. He is a leader in his own right. He, it was, who actually brought John Gaul into power. He is a major player in the politics of Cross River State. He is believed to have supported John Gaul all along. So, it becomes worrisome that John Gaul refused to hearken to the advice of Imoke, that there should be no further litigations against the election of Dr Alex Egbona, the man who is currently representing the Abi/Yakurr Federal Constituency.
Apart from Imoke, it has been said that the paramount ruler of Ugep, the Obol Lopon, Obol Ofem Ubana has since advised John Gaul to accept defeat and allow the winner to concentrate in his legislative duties, while he waits for the next election. John Gaul’s reason for insisting on another tribunal case is what people are yet to fathom.
Early this year, as soon as Egbona was declared winner of the general election, John Gaul had gone to the tribunal to challenge Egbona’s emergence. The tribunal had annulled the election and declared him winner of the election. But at the court of appeal set aside the tribunal judgement and only ordered that a rerun be conducted in two wards of Ekureku, where Egbona comes from.
Under normal circumstance, Egbona did not need to go home for that election because his people love him. The result of the rerun was therefore predictable. In fact, it was known even before voting commenced, that Egbona was going to sweep the polls. Ekureku people did not hide their preference for their son. They had campaigned for him. They had resisted gratifications in whatever form. They had vowed to stay with Egbona.
Those who reside outside Cross River State had contributed money to hire buses to be able to be in Ekureku before the January 25 date of the election, so that they can vote. By January 24, the entire village was agog. The entire village was united against John Gaul. Town criers did not rest. They had gone round all the two wards, notifying the natives to come out to vote for Egbona.
So, it was not surprising that Egbona swept all the votes on January 25. But what is still surprising is the decision of John Gaul to go back to the tribunal.
It is even more shocking that John Gaul wants the tribunal to cancel the election and declare him winner. Really? How? So, Abi/Yakurr will not know peace until John Gaul wins?
Come to think of it, during the last general election, Senator John Owan Enoh, the governorship candidate of the APC in the state had to stop further litigations against the governor, Prof Ben Ayade, after losing at the tribunal. He had the option to pursue the case up the Supreme Court. But he chose to end it so that the governor can concentrate.
During the 2015 general election, Egbona took the decision to discontinue litigations against Bassey Ewa of the PDP, because he felt that there was no point dragging the matter further. He left the case and went ahead to support Ewa for him to successfully serve out his tenure.
John Gaul should be reminded that once saliva is allowed to remain for too long in the mouth, it will surely turn to water. There should be an end to litigations, especially when it becomes very clear that the people have glaringly made their position known.
Some people have quoted John Gaul as having said that he will continue to join issues with Egbona in the courts so that he will spend the money he is being paid in the House of Representatives. He is also quoted to have said that he wants Egbona distracted till the end of the four years he is supposed to serve in the National Assembly. It is difficult to believe this. But if it is true, then it is really unfortunate.
What that means is that the Abi/Yakurr people will have to put up with this distraction for the next four years, just because one person feels that it is better the baby is killed and shared, instead of allowing the rightful mother to take care of the baby. Remember this biblical story? It is a pity. It is too bad.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *