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Defection: Court defers to April 6 judgment in suit seeking Ayade’s sacking

Bolanle Olabimtan

A federal high court in Abuja has fixed April 6 to deliver judgment in a suit filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against Ben Ayade, Cross River governor.

Although the court had initially fixed March 25 to deliver judgment, the cause list on Friday showed that the case has been rescheduled.

The PDP had taken Ayade to court seeking an order directing him and his deputy, Ivara Esu, to vacate office over their defection to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Ayade was elected on the platform of the PDP in 2015 and 2019, but defected to the APC on May 20, 2021, along with his deputy.


In the suit, the PDP is praying 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”.

On Monday, Taiwo Taiwo, a judge, sacked 20 lawmakers from Cross River state who defected alongside the governor to the APC.

The party is also seeking an order directing the first 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 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”.

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