The Cross River State Government has bowed down to pressure and is now set for the conduct of local government elections.
The government has slated February 22, 2020 for the conduct of the election.
The High Court 4 sitting in Calabar, Cross River State capital and presided over by Hon Justice E. Ita had ordered Governor Ben Ayade to conduct local government elections which would usher in eighteen local government chairmen.
The Court in a suit No: HC/514/2018 filed by the APC Chieftain, Chief (Barr) Utum Eteng against Gov. Ben Ayade and his State Attorney General, frowned seriously on the action of the defendants and stated that there was no alternative than to obeying the constitution and the law in the matter of this nature.
The Court held that it was a breach of section 7(1) of the 1999 constitution for Gov. Ayade not to conduct election to usher in a democratically elected Local Govt. as contemplated by section 7(1) of the constitution and section 2(1) of the CRS Local Govt. Law 2007.
The Court did not find it funny and regretted that more than 3 years after the expiration in December, 2018 of the democratically Local Government Councils put in place in December, 2015, by the Liyel Imoke led State Government, the Ayade Government has not found it proper to do the needful by conducting elections.
Consequently, the Cross River State House of Assembly had given the Cross River State Independent Electoral Commission (CROSIEC) an ultimatum to conduct local government elections.
On Wednesday, November 27, 2019, CROSIEC in a press briefing held in Calabar, disclosed the timetable of the elections with dates from 27th November, 2019 to 22nd February, 2019.
The notice of election bellow:
Monday, 9th December 2019: Meeting with Security Agencies and NOA, Monday, 16th December 2019: Meeting with Heads of Local Government Administrators (HOLGAs), Tuesday 17th – Monday 23rd December, 2019: Meeting with Stakeholders in each local government area. Thursday, 2nd January 2020: Meeting with Assistant Electoral officers, 7 Thursday, 2nd January 2020: Advertisement for Ad hoc staff., Wednesday, 11th December 2019 – Friday, 10th January 2020: Submission of list of candidates and personnel particulars of candidates to the Commission by Political parties.
Monday, 16th December 2019 – Thursday, 16th January 2020: Sales of Nomination forms, Thursday, 9th – 16th January 2020: Validation of nomination particulars by Electoral officers, Friday 17th – Thursday 23rd January 2020: Verification of particulars of candidates by the Commission, Friday, 24th January 2020: Meeting with Political parties.
Tuesday, 28th – Thursday, 30th January 2020: Publication of particulars of candidates at Area Offices, Friday, 31st January – Tuesday, 4th February 2020: Submission of campaign rally schedule by Political parties to Electoral Officers. Tuesday, 11th February 2020: Publication of Nomination particulars, Sunday, 9th February 2020: Close of nomination, Friday, 7th – 21st February 2020: Campaign by Political Parties, Wednesday, 12th – Friday, 14th February 2020: Submission of names of Polling Agents by candidates to the Electoral officers.
Tuesday, 4th – Wednesday, 5th February 2020: Training of Ad-hoc staff, 18th February, 2020: Publication of notice of Polls, 21st February, 2020: Publication of observers’ list/briefing and 22nd February, 2020: Elections.