The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Thursday, dismissed the suit by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, filed to declare the seat of Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State and his Deputy, Ivara Esu, vacant, following their defection to the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC.


Justice Taiwo Taiwo cited the judgment of the Court of Appeal in Enugu
that defection is not a ground for removal from office.

The Justice noted that the removal of a sitting governor and his deputy
can only be done in line with constitutional provisions.

He added that under such provisions, the judiciary lacks the powers to
remove an elected officer.

The Justice, however, agreed that defection from a winning party to a
losing one is immoral and improper.

Ayade defected to the APC in May 2021 from the PDP, citing the allure
of working with President Muhammadu Buhari.

The PDP subsequently filed a suit against Ayade and his deputy,
Professor Ivara Esu, arguing that they had abandoned the political party
that sponsored their re-election.