Supreme Court Upholds Ayade’s Election As Governor

Governor Ben Ayade

The Supreme Court has upheld the election of Ben Ayade as the governor of Cross River State in Nigeria’s south-south region.

Ayade’s election was challenged by a fellow member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Joe Agi, on the ground of alleged falsification of age.

Agi had dragged Ayade to the Federal High Court claiming that Ayade was parading conflicting age declarations.

He argued that by the constitution of the party the respondent was not qualified to be the governorship candidate.

Agi then prayed that having come second in the primaries, he should be declared the candidate of the party.

Justice Abdul Kafarati, on July 31, 2015, ruled on the Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/25/2015 between Agi, SAN v. PDP and two orders. He dismissed the case on grounds that the matter was not proved beyond reasonable doubt.

That judgment was also upheld by three Court of Appeal Judges led by Justice Tinuade Akomolefe in subsequent judgments.

But Agi was still not content with lower courts’ judgments. He took the case to the apex court.

His lawyers argued that “the decision of the lower court upholding the preliminary objections of the 1st (PDP) and 3rd (Ayade) Respondents only dealt with one ground of the Appellant’s case without considering the ground of the Appellant’s case bordering on presentation of conflicting age(s) declaration by the 3rd Respondent to the 1st Respondent, contrary to Article 14 (b) and 15 (2) of the Electoral Guidelines for the Primary Elections 2014 of the Peoples Democratic Party (Exhibit JA5) and the Electoral Act.”

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