By The Nation Newspaper
A Federal High Court in Abuja has affirmed Governor Ben Ayade as the All Progressives Congress (APC) senatorial candidate for Cross River North.
The Court presided by Justice Nkeonye Evelyn Maha dismissed a suit filed by Cecilia Odey against the Governor.
Cecilia of the APC participated in the May 28th Cross River State Northern Senatorial District primaries of APC with a zero vote score to Martins Orim who won.
She later filed a suit challenging the fresh primaries that the APC conducted on the 14th of July 2022 following the voluntary withdrawal of Martins Orim for Ayade in pursuant to S. 31 and 33 of the Electoral Act 2022.
The court, while dismissing the case of the plaintiff, stated that Cecilia’s claim was non-in-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act, APC guidelines and constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and can not be proven by any material fact.
It further declined to accept the argument that the fresh primaries were re-run elections and not by-elections.
The court also stated the requirement of giving notice as contemplated under the Electoral Act is not to notify the plaintiff (Cecilia) but INEC.
Efforts to get reactions from the plaintiff and its lawyer were unsuccessful to know its next line of action.
However, APC Publicity Secretary in Cross River Erasmus Ekpang noted that the victory of the Governor was expected because he is the popular candidate that can win for the party.
His words: “Cecilia has not been on ground and there was no way she would have emerged a candidate. What she would have done should be taking her defeat in good faith. We are happy with the judgement and it’s a victory for the APC.”
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