Court dismisses lawsuit seeking to sack Ayade over defection to APC

A lawsuit seeking the removal of Ben Ayade as Cross River governor has been dismissed by a federal high court.

Ayade who 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, was dragged to court by the opposition party which requested that they vacate office. 

The PDP had asked 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”.

Justice Taiwo Taiwo in his judgement, held that defection is not an offence in the Nigerian constitution.

He also cited the Enugu court of appeal judgement which refused to sack David Umahi as governor as a precedent.