Court rules July 22 in Cross River governorship suit



The Federal High Court Abuja presided over by Justice Abdul Kafarati has fixed July 22, 2015 to decide if the Cross River State Governor Ben Ayade will remain in office or not.

An aspirant in last year’s People’s Democratic Party (PDP) primaries, Mr. Joe Agi, SAN had taken Ayade to court challenging his eligibility to contest the primaries, which he (Ayade) was declared the winner.

The matter had come up on June 10 both Agi and Counsel to Governor Ayade, Mr. Paul Erokoro made their submissions as contained in proceedings made available to some newsmen in Calabar.

Agi told the court that Governor Ayade in his nomination form said he was born on March 2, 1969 and on oath in another form also has an age declaration of March 2, 1968, which is in conflict with what is stated in the form.

He submitted that “in his INEC form CFO 1 which is also on oath, he swore that he was born on the March 2, 1969 and I also got the University of Ibadan to tender his student biodata card which states that he was born on March 2, 1966 which contradicts other dates. When he graduated he was employed there and they brought his staff bio data card, which is March 2, 1968. This even conflicts with his student bio data age.”

He told the court, “by virtue of Section 14b of the Electoral guidelines of PDP, which says a gubernatorial aspirant shall not be qualified for nomination or to contest nomination if he presents false age declaration or birth certificate for the purpose of the primaries or for any other purpose. But here he is with three conflicting ages. He presented 1969 and 1968 and I am saying by virtue of this the party ought to have disqualified him by the guidelines and the Supreme Court in one of its judgment had said the party must obey their guidelines.

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