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Court adjourns suit seeking to remove Cross River Gov, Ayade, for dumping PDP

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A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, has adjourned a suit seeking to remove the Governor of Cross River State, Ben Ayade, from office for defecting to the All Progressives Congress (APC) from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to April 6, for ruling.

When the case first came up for mention on Tuesday, the presiding judge, Justice Taiwo Taiwo, had adjourned till Friday, March 25, for hearing.

The case with the suit number, FHC/ABJ/CS/975/2021, was filed by the state chapter of the PDP against Ayade and his deputy, for defecting from the opposition party.

In its suit filed by counsel to the PDP, Emmanuel Ukala (SAN), the party had sought an order sacking the governor and his deputy over their defection.

However, when the case came up on Friday morning, Justice Taiwo postponed it to April 6, saying the parties in the case were not ready.

Taiwo had, also on Tuesday, ordered two House of Representatives members representing the state and 18 lawmakers from the Cross River House of Assembly, to vacate their seats for defecting to the APC.

Read also: Gov Ayade says Nigeria very hard to govern, hints at joining presidential race

The judge gave the order following another suit filed on August 27, 2021, by the PDP to challenge the 20 lawmakers’ defection to APC, alongside the governor on May 20, 2021.

In delivering judgment, Taiwo dismissed the defence argument that the PDP (plaintiff) had no locus standi to institute the case.

He also dismissed other preliminary objections raised by the sacked lawmakers, ruling that the argument of the lawmakers that there was rancour in the PDP, which necessitated their defection to APC, was a ploy to mislead the court.

The judge, who granted all the reliefs sought by the PDP, held that it was disheartening that politicians in the country treat citizens as if they do not matter once they get into office.

“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,” Justice Taiwo had said.

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