• As police takes over House of Assembly
• Staffers are turned back
• Stern looking policemen…take over Cross River State House of Assembly
A Federal High Court, Abuja, will on Friday, deliver judgment in a suit filed by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP against Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River, just as different units of the Nigeria Police Force, on Tuesday, blocked all entrances into the Cross River State House of Assembly, as staff members were turned back. The different units of the police included the anti-kidnapping and cultism squad and the regular policemen, armed to the teeth.
It gathered that the security build up is as a result of the judgment delivered at by a Federal High Court in Abuja, presided over by Justice Taiwo Taiwo, which sacked 18 lawmakers from the State and two in the House of Representatives for crossing from the PDP to the APC on May 20, 2021.
The PDP, through its counsel, Emmanuel Ukala, SAN, had filed the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/975/2021 before Justice Taiwo Taiwo to seek for an order sacking the governor and his deputy over their defection to the All Progressives Congress (APC), among others.
On Tuesday from Court 7, where Justice Taiwo presides that the judgment in suit number: FHC/ABJ/CS/975/2021 filed by the PDP against Cross River governor and his deputy will come up on Friday, March 25.
Taiwo had, on Monday, ordered two House of Representatives members representing Cross River and 18 lawmakers from the state’s House of Assembly to vacate their seats over their defection to APC.
The judge gave the order following a suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/971/2021 filed on August 27, 2021, by the PDP to challenge the 20 lawmakers’ defection to APC, alongside the governor on May 20, 2021.
Justice Taiwo, in the judgment, dismissed the defence argument that the PDP (plaintiff) had no locus standi to institute the case.
He also dismissed other preliminary objections raised by the sacked lawmakers.
Taiwo ruled that the argument of the lawmakers that there was rancour in the PDP which necessitated their defection to APC was a ploy to mislead the court.
The judge, who granted all the reliefs sought by the PDP, held that it was disheartening that politicians in the country treat citizens as if they do not matter once they get into office.
“A day must surely come when elected officials, must either resign from their office or ask the people who voted for them before defecting to other political parties, instead of defecting to another party without recourse to the law and the citizens,” he said.
According to him, we cannot continue in sin and expect grace to abound.
The affected two members of the House of Representatives from the state are Michael Etaba and Legor Idagbor.
The 18 state’s lawmakers include the Speaker, House of Assembly, Eteng Williams; Mich Etaba, Legor Idagbor, Joseph Bassey, Odey Agbe and Okon Ephraim.
Others are: Regina Anyogo, Matthew Olory, Ekpo Bassey, Ogbor Udop, Ekpe Okon, Hillary Bisong, Francis Asuquo, Elvert Ayambem, Davis Etta, Sunday Achunekan, Cynthia Nkasi, Edward Ajang, Chris Ogar and Maria Akwaji.
While Mr Etaba represents Obubra/Etung Federal Constituency of Cross River, Mr Idagbor represents Obudu/Obaliku/Bekwarra Federal Constituency of the state.
Reports have it that some of the policemen that took over the Assembly building were also seen standing close to Governor Ben Ayade’s office, which is a few metres away.
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