An Abuja high court will on Friday, deliver judgment in a suit filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) challenging Ben Ayade, Cross River State governor’s defection from the party to the All Progressive Congress (APC).
The PDP had, through its counsel Emmanuel Ukala, SAN, filed the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/975/2021 before Justice Taiwo Taiwo to seek an order sacking the governor and his deputy over their defection to the All Progressives Congress (APC), among others.
The case against the governor, filed by the PDP against the governor and the deputy governor in Court 7, where Justice Taiwo presides, will come up on Friday, March 25.
Recall that the high court presided over by Justice Taiwo, had on Monday, sacked 20 lawmakers from the state who defected to the APC from the PDP with the governor.
Sacking the lawmakers on Monday, following a suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/971/2021 filed on Aug. 27, 2021, by the PDP to challenge the 20 lawmakers’ defection to APC, alongside the governor on May 20, 2021, Justice Taiwo, dismissed the defence’s argument that the PDP (plaintiff) had no locus standi (legal rights) to institute the case.
He also dismissed other preliminary objections raised by the sacked lawmakers.
Taiwo ruled 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, ” he said.
According to him, we cannot continue in sin and expect grace to abound.
The affected two members of the House of Representatives from the state are Michael Etaba and Legor Idagbor.
The 18 state’s lawmakers include the Speaker, House of Assembly, Eteng Williams; Mich Etaba, Legor Idagbor, Joseph Bassey, Odey Agbe and Okon Ephraim.
Others are: Regina Anyogo, Matthew Olory, Ekpo Bassey, Ogbor Udop, Ekpe Okon, Hillary Bisong, Francis Asuquo, Elvert Ayambem, Davis Etta, Sunday Achunekan, Cynthia Nkasi, Edward Ajang, Chris Ogar and Maria Akwaji.
While Etaba represents Obubra/Etung Federal Constituency of Cross River, Idagbor represents Obudu/Obaliku/Bekwarra Federal Constituency of the state.
The lawmakers has since appealed the judgement.