The Federal High Court, Abuja, has dismissed a suit seeking to declare vacant, the governorship seats of Cross River State Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade, and his deputy, Prof. Ivara Ejemot Esu, over defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
The court, in a judgement that was delivered by Justice Taiwo Taiwo, held that the duo could not be sacked from their positions, other than through statutory procedures that were stipulated in sections 180, 188 and 189 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.
It held that defection to another political party was not stated as one of the grounds for the removal of either a governor or his deputy.
“The 3rd and 4th Defendant cannot be removed except by Constitutional provision.
“This court has no power to declare vacant the seat of the 3rd and 4th Defendants”, the court held.
PDP had in its suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/975/2021, prayed the court to sack both Ayade and his deputy, contending that the duo, having abandoned the political party that sponsored their re-election, ought to vacate their respective offices.