From Judex Okoro, Calabar
Governor Benedict Ayade of Cross River has stated unequivocally he is still a card-carrying member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
News making the rounds in the state has it that Ayade had discreetly denounced membership of APC in an alleged affidavit claiming he is still a member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
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According to the alleged affidavit, the Governor, following the Abuja Federal High judgment sacking of Gov Dave Umahi of Ebonyi state from office, said: “I am not a registered member of APC, I only decamped to APC.”
But, Mr. Ayade in a verified Facebook page on Saturday to debunk the claim, saying,“I am a bonafide and registered member of the APC. Stop the cheap propaganda aimed at wooing APC members to PDP.”
PDP has instituted a case in October 2021 against some APC Governors, who defected last year, challenging their defections in a Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/975/2021.
PDP in the case before the Federal High Court, Abuja, is praying the court to sack Ayade and his Deputy, Ivara Esu, following their defection to the APC.
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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the APC, Ayade and Esu are defendants in the suit.
The PDP lawyers led by Emmanuel Ukala, SAN, argued, as the same in that of Gov David Umahi of Ebo yi state, that the mandate given by the electorate in Cross River State was to the PDP and Ayade, as the candidate of the party at the election, cannot be transferred to APC or any other political party.
They, therefore, prayed the court to issue “a judicial declaration giving the PDP an opportunity to nominate a replacement to the seat of the governor and the deputy governor in Cross River State.
“A declaration that, in view of the provisions of Section 221 of the Constitution, adding that under the nation’s democratic system, 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.”
The case is slated for hearing this month.