Palpable tension has gripped the political camp of Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State as a Federal High Court in Abuja is set to deliver a make or mar judgment in a defection suit against him.
Justice Taiwo Taiwo is expected to make his decision known later today on the legality or otherwise of the defection of the governor from the People’s Democratic Party PDP to the All Progressives Congress APC.
At the time of this report, hundreds of supporters and sympathizers of the governor have stormed the court premises debating the direction of the court’s pendulum.
Although the judgment ought to have been handed down yesterday, it was shifted till today following a Court of Appeal’s latest decision on defections.
Justice Taiwo halted the judgment to enable him consider the implications of the Court of Appeal’s fresh judgment on the defection related matters.
The Court of Appeal, Enugu Division, had held that defection did not constitute any known offence but constitutional rights of freedom of association as enshrined under Section 40 of the 1999 Constitution.
However, while the Court of Appeal’s new decision was hinged on a suit instituted by the APC governorship candidate in Cross River State in the last governorship election against the APC, the Federal High Court suit was instituted by the PDP against Ayade.
Ben Ayade and his Deputy had defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC), prompting the PDP to ask the court to declare their seats vacant.
Meanwhile, Justice Taiwo is being awaited in the fully packed courtroom for the judgment.
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