Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers, has asked the Peoples Democratic Party to file a suit against David Umahi and Ben Ayade, governors of Ebonyi and Cross River, respectively, for defecting to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Umahi had joined the APC in November 2020, while Ayade had defected in May 2021.
Shortly after Ayade, Bello Matawalle, governor of Zamfara, also defected from the PDP to the APC.
While the PDP has filed a suit against Matawalle to challenge his decision to remain as governor despite the defection, no decision has been taken against Umahi and Ayade.the
In a statement issued on Saturday by Kelvin Ebiri, his spokesman, Wike said the time has come for the judiciary to take a position against political defections “with no constitutional reason”.
“The time has come that the judiciary must have to rise to the occasion to make a final pronouncement of this issue of defection, and that will go a long way to strengthen our democracy. Because if we do not take action, you will find a situation where you will have a one party sate and that will not be good for our democracy,” Wike was quoted to have said.
And so, I have encouraged the PDP. They must file a suit against the Governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi, and the Governor of Cross River State, Ben Ayade, for defecting to the All Progressives Congress without any reason provided in the constitution or any other enabling law.
What PDP is looking for is not just that they want to reclaim the seats, but that a pronouncement must be made by the judiciary on this incessant defection without no reasons at all, in order to enhance and strength our democracy.
“Let it be on record that the party (PDP) has been able to challenge it and let us await the outcome of the decision of the court, because the court has a role to strengthen our democracy. And part of the role the court must play is to make a final pronouncement on this issue of defection from one party to the other.”
Speaking on the reconfirmation by the court of appeal affirming Jarigbe Agom as the senator-elect of Cross River north senatorial district, he described it is a victory for democracy and the PDP.
The court of appeal in Calabar had, in July, declared Agom as the duly elected senator for Cross River north senatorial district.
In another judgment on Saturday, the court of appeal in Abuja, reaffirmed Jarigbe as the elected senator for Cross River north.
“People must understand there is an end to litigation. This is a matter from my knowledge was a pre-election matter and went up to the tribunal. And I do know that the Court of Appeal tribunal sitting in Calabar sometime in July gave judgment declaring Hon Agom as the senator elect and therefore directed INEC to issue a certificate of return to him and that was carried out by the INEC,” Wike said.
“Surprisingly to us, the candidate of APC and the purported candidate of the PDP, Dr. Stephen Odey had to apply again to the Court of Appeal to review the judgment that the Court of Appeal had already given at the appeal tribunal.”