By Magnus Effiong
Barr Ekpenyong Akiba, Media Aide to Senator Bassey Edet Otu, the Consensus Governorship Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Cross River, has described as “misleading’ media report alleging that the clearance of Sen Otu was inconclusive.
In a press statement made available to reporters, Friday, Barr Akiba said “Our attention has been drawn to a misleading trending narrative claiming that Senator (Prince) Bassey Edet Otu was not cleared by the Screening Committee.
“The report stated that a mischievous petition was received by the Screening Committee and that Senator (Prince) Bassey Edet Otu failed to make full disclosure of his educational qualifications.
“It said that the committee, after careful scrutiny of the petition and the supporting documents found no evidence to substantiate the allegation of conviction of the aspirant before any court of law.
“On his academic credentials, the misleading report said Senator (Prince) Bassey Edet Otu only tendered a testimonial to cover for his First School Leaving Certificate and his WASC, but the committee requested for the original certificates to be provided and declared the matter inconclusive.”
Throwing light on the issue, Barr Akiba explained that “Senator (Prince) Bassey Edet Otu was only requested to produce the required certificates which he did and was officially cleared.
“The document in circulation is not current as it was released two days ago while Senator Otu was only cleared yesterday after meeting with the requirements of the committee.”
The aide urged Senator Otu’s supporters and party faithfuls “to remain calm as the people’s choice, Senator (Prince) Bassey Otu has been screened and cleared.”
Our reporter observed that there was an uneasy calm at the APC Secretariat over the said report. While many officials of the party expressed anger over what they saw as an attempt to deprive the APC a golden opportunity to retain power, others demanded an investigation into the matter.
A source who preferred anonimity alleged that some of the aspirants may have bribed the screening committee with a whopping N120 million to disqualify Otu, while others called on Gov Ben Ayade and the party leaders in the State to get to the root of the matter as soon as practicable.