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Defection: Court Dismisses Suit Seeking Gov Ayade’s Sack

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A Federal High Court in Abuja has refused to remove Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State and his deputy, Professor Ivara Esu, over their defection.

Justice Taiwo Taiwo, on Thursday, held that the constitution did not make provision for the removal of a governor, deputy or president and vice president who defects to another political party.

The Peoples Democratic Party (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), asked the high court to dismiss the suit as it lacks the powers to sack a defecting governor and his deputy.

He said decisions of the Supreme Court in Atiku’s case has settled the matter.

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.

About Charles Igbinidu

Charles Igbinidu is a Public Relations practitioner in Lagos, Nigeria

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