The ruling in a suit filed by the Peoples Democratic Party against Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River has been delayed by a Federal High Court in Abuja.
The PDP had filed the FHC/ABJ/CS/975/2021 action before Justice Taiwo Taiwo, through its lawyer Emmanuel Ukala, SAN, seeking an order dismissing the governor and his deputy over their defection to the All Progressives Congress (APC), among other things.
The lawsuit was originally scheduled on Friday, but it has been postponed until April 6, 2022.
On Monday, a judge ordered two members of the House of Representatives from Cross River and 18 members of the state House of Assembly to relinquish their seats due to their defection to the APC.
The order came after the PDP filed a lawsuit on August 27, 2021, titled FHC/ABJ/CS/971/2021, challenging the 20 lawmakers’ and governor’s defection to the APC on May 20, 2021.
In his decision, Justice Taiwo dismissed the defense claim that the PDP (plaintiff) lacked locus standi (legal standing) to bring the action.
Other preliminary arguments submitted by the ousted legislators were also disregarded.
The lawmakers’ contention that there was rancor in the PDP, necessitating their defection to the APC, was declared by Taiwo to be a ruse to deceive the court.
The court, who accepted all of the PDP’s requests, said it was depressing that leaders in the country treat citizens as if they are unimportant once they are elected.
“There will inevitably come a day when elected persons must either retire from office or ask the people who voted for them before defecting to other political parties, rather than defecting to another party without recourse to the law or the citizens,” he stated.