The Federal High in Abuja has fixed Friday, March 25, 2022, for the judgment on the defection of Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State from the Peoples Democratic Party to the ruling All Progressives Congress.
In a suit filed by the PDP, the party seeks the removal of Ayade and his deputy, Ivara Esu, from office following their defection to the APC.
The PDP in the suit to be determined on Friday prayed 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 seeks an order directing the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to “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 in 2015 and 2019 on the platform of the PDP, but in May 2021, he dumped the party for the APC.
However, on Monday, March 21, 2020, Justice Taiwo Taiwo sacked 20 members of Cross Rivers House of Assembly, who defected to the APC.
The judge while delivering judgment said the lawmakers left the PDP when there was no justification 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, police operatives have taken over the Cross Rivers House of Assembly following the sacking of the lawmakers.
The police officers who were seen around the routes leading to the House of Assembly restricted into the Assembly complex.