Defection: Court delivers judgement on suit seeking governor Ayade’s removal
A Federal High Court in Abuja has delivered Judgement in a suit filed by Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) seeking the removal Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State and his deputy, Professor Ivara Esu, over their defection to the All Progressives Congress (APC)
In his ruling on Thursday, Justice Taiwo Taiwo, affirmed the right of Ayade and his deputy to join any political party of their choice, adding that such action is not unconstitutional.
The judge averred that it was not enshrined anywhere in the Nigerian constitution that a sitting governor, deputy or president and vice president are liable to lose their position if they leave the party on whose platform they are voted to power.
The PDP had through its counsel, Emmanuel Ukala (SAN), contended that the governor and his deputy cannot transfer the votes cast for them in the party to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
But APC counsel, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), citing the verdict of the supreme court in Atiku’s case, prayed the high court to throw out the suit as it lacks the powers to sack a defecting governor and his deputy.
Justice Taiwo agreed with the submission that defection was immoral but held that there was no constitutional provision to vacate their seats as applicable to lawmakers in Section 68(g) of the Nigerian Constitution.
The court had earlier ordered 20 lawmakers, comprising 18 members of the Cross River State House of Assembly and two members of the House of Representatives, to vacate their seats following their defection from the PDP to the APC alongside the governor.
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