Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade
A federal high court in Abuja has dismissed a suit seeking the removal of Ben Ayade as Cross River governor.

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

The court, in a judgement that was delivered by Justice Taiwo Taiwo, held that the duo could not be sacked from their positions, other than through statutory procedures that were stipulated in sections 180, 188 and 189 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.

It held that defection to another political party was not stated as one of the grounds for the removal of either a governor or his deputy.

“The 3rd and 4th Defendant cannot be removed except by Constitutional provision.

“This court has no power to declare vacant the seat of the 3rd and 4th Defendants”, Justice Ekwo held.

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, marked FHC/ABJ/CS/975/2021, the PDP 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”.


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