Governor Ben Ayade’s anointed candidate for the next governorship election in Cross River, Senator Bassey Edet Otu, has been disqualified by the All Progressives screening panel after failing.
The Panel 1 Committee comprising DIG Suleiman D. Fakai (Rtd) as the Chairman; Hon Chidi Nwogu as the Committee Secretary and Ambassador Paul Oyiborume as a member, found that Bassey could not produce his First School Leaving Certificate.
This followed a petition received by the committee alleging that Bassey is an ex-convict with questionable credentials.
A document obtained by SaharaReporters on Friday, says, "Senator Bassey Edet Otu was disqualified by the screening Committee (Governorship). We also received a petition dated 14th May, 2022 from Messrs B. I. Dakim & Co. against the nomination of Senator Bassey Ede Otu.
"The petition was brought on two grounds:
1) That the Respondent, Senator Bassey Edet Otu is an ex-convict
2)That the Respondent, Senator Bassey Edet Otu failed to make full disclosure of his educational qualifications.
"Aside from this petition, there is no other Appeal or Petition regarding any other nomination.
"The Committee, after due scrutiny of the content of the Petition and the supporting documents, found no evidence to substantiate the allegation of conviction of the aspirant before any court of law.
"However, with regards to the allegation of his questionable academic credentials, subject could neither produce his First School Leaving Certificate nor his WAEC (West African Examination Council). He could only produce his secondary school testimonial.
"In the circumstances, therefore, the Committee has no option but to declare this matter as inconclusive."
Basey was elected Senator for Cross River South in the April 2011 elections, on the Peoples Democratic Party platform.
On 10 May, he was announced as the consensus candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the 2023 Cross River governorship election out of 18 candidates who had planned to succeed Governor Ayade.