Tuesday, 22 March 2022

C'River Assembly React To Federal High Court Verdict

The Cross River State House of Assembly has reacted to the court order which asked 18 members of the 9th Assembly to vacate their seats for dumping the People's Democratic Party and following governor Ben Ayade to the All Progressives Congress.

Speaking with newsmen in Calabar shortly after the court order, the Speaker of the 9th Cross River State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Eteng Jonah-Williams said he is not aware of any court judgement sacking him or any of the house members, as neither he nor any of the affected members have been served with any court order. 

"As far as I am concerned, I am not aware of any court judgement sacking me or any member because we have not been served with any court order as we speak," he said.

Recall that yesterday, the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court had declared vacant the seats of 20 lawmakers from Cross River over their defection from the Peoples Democratic Party to All Progressives Congress.

Justice Taiwo Taiwo dismissed the defence argument that PDP (plaintiff) had no locus standi to institute the case.

Also reacting, Francis Ovat (PDP), a member of the Cross River StateHouse of Assembly representing Obubra 2 State Constituency, has hailed the judgement as sound, stating that it was wrong for elected officers to jump ship with the mandate of the people.

"If you are elected into a political party and you hold the people's mandate, it is wrong for you to jump from one party to the other.

"Elected officials should learn to stay in one party. Jumping from one party to the other kills democracy," he said.
Mr Ovat added that "The judgement is a good one and it came right on time."

The leadership of the All Progressives Congress in the State has also issued a statement calling on party members to be calm while reassuring them that the judgment will be reversed in the appellant court. 

In a similar action, the state governor through his chief press secretary, Mr Christian Ita has said that the case will be revisited in the Appeal court as the party's counsel, a renowned constitutional lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Chief Mike Ozekhome has already filled an appeal in the appeal court, Abuja and also a motion for a stay on the execution of the order has also been sort for. 

The statement by the governor's spokesman advised members of the public and affected lawmakers to go about their lawful businesses freely.