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PDP asks court to sack Ayade, deputy from office

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The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has asked the Federal High Court Abuja to remove Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State and his deputy from office after their defection to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

In the suit made available to some newsmen in Calabar, yesterday, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), APC and the deputy governor, Prof. Ivara Ejemot Esuas were joined as defendants.

Ayade was elected on the platform of the PDP in 2015 and 2019, but decamped to APC on May 20, 2021 along with his deputy, and declared that Cross River State is “now an APC state” and effectively caused the governance of the state to be in the control of the APC.

The PDP, in the matter instituted at the Federal High Court, Abuja, argued that the mandate given by the electorate in Cross River State was to the PDP and Ayade as the candidate of the party at the election, and that the governor cannot transfer the mandate to APC or any other political party.

Therefore, PDP, in the suit filed by five led by Emmanuel C. Ukala, SAN, is seeking a judicial declaration giving it an opportunity to nominate a replacement to the seat of the governor and the deputy governor in Cross River State.

“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 is also seeking an order directing the1st defendant (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 the 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.”

In a reaction, the Special Adviser to Governor on Media and Publicity, Christian Ita said: “In any case, given the relevant provisions of the constitution, they are just jokers and jesters who are embarking on mere academic exercise for cheap headlines in the media.”


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