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Court To rule On Gov. Ayade’s Defection To The APC On Friday

Court To rule On Gov. Ayade’s Defection To The APC On Friday 

The PDP has filed a lawsuit seeking the removal of Ayade and his deputy from office.

News Agency of Nigeria

The Federal High Court in Abuja has set Friday, March 25, 2022, as the date for the verdict on Cross River State Governor Ben Ayade’s defection from the Peoples Democratic Party to the ruling All Progressives Congress.

The PDP has filed a lawsuit seeking the removal of Ayade and his deputy, Ivara Esu, from office following their defection to the APC.

In the case that will be decided on Friday, the PDP asked the court for,  “a declaration that in view of the provisions of section 221 of the Constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and the democratic system of governance operated in Nigeria, votes at the election and elections are won by political parties and not their candidate or the candidates sponsored at the election by the political parties”.

The party also wants an injunction to force the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to do anything, “immediately receive from the plaintiff (PDP), the name of its candidates to replace the 3rd and 4th defendants (Ayade and Esu) for the purpose of utilising the lawful votes cast in favour of the plaintiff or in the alternative directing the 1st defendant to hold a gubernatorial election for Cross River State in accordance with Section 177 © of the Constitution (excluding the 3rd and 4th defendants who are disqualified from participating in the election by virtue of Section 192 (1) (b) of the Constitution) arising from abandonment of the majority lawful votes and the offices occasioned by the action of the 3rd and 4th defendants by reason of their becoming members of the 2nd defendant who did not win majority of the lawful votes cast at the election”.

Ayade was elected on the PDP platform in 2015 and 2019, but switched to the APC in May 2021.

On Monday, March 21, 2020, however, Justice Taiwo Taiwo fired 20 members of the Cross Rivers House of Assembly who had defected to the APC.

The judge stated in his decision that the lawmakers quit the PDP when there was no reason to do so.

He said, “A day must surely come when elected officials, must either resign from their office or ask the people who voted for them before defecting to other political parties, instead of defecting to another party without recourse to the law and the citizens.”

Meanwhile, once the legislators were fired, police officers took over the Cross Rivers House of Assembly.

The police personnel observed patrolling the roadways leading to the House of Assembly were barred from entering the Assembly building.

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