March 5, 2024

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Court Resumes Hearing On Suit Against Ayade, CROSIEC

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Chiemeka ADINDU, Calabar
A high court sitting in Calabar has commenced a fresh hearing on the suit filed against the governor of Cross River State, Prof. Ben Ayade, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Cross River State Independent Electoral Commission, CROSIEC, and others.
This is coming after the suit was transferred from Justice Edem Koofreh to Justice Sam Anjor as requested by the defendants.
Christopher Edet Ekpo and 11 others had filed the suit challenging the PDP Local Government Council primary election as well as the inauguration of CROSIEC.
According to the claimants who are representing all the aggrieved aspirants for the positions of chairmen and councillors of the 18 local government area of the state on the platform of the PDP, they were denied participation in the purported party primaries preparatory to the just concluded 2020 local government elections in the state, having purchased the expression of interest forms.
They pointed out that CROSIEC was not properly constituted for the conduct of the elections as the statutory bodies were not involved, including the Cross River State House of Assembly.
They added that the state executive committee created the rules for the election which only the national executive committee has the power to do as well as in the screening of candidates.
The petition with suit No: HC/561/2020 is now handled by Justice Sam Anjor and was adjourned to June 23, 2020.
In a related development, acting Chief Judge of Cross River state, Justice Maurice Eneji has granted the request for the transfer of the petition by Pastor Otu Edet Marshall and four others, against the PDP and 11 others.
The petition with suit No: HC/115/2020 was transferred from Court 1 which is the court of the acting chief judge to court 6.
The request came as result of concern and worries expressed by the defendants as to the fairness of the acting chief judge in handling the matter, stating that they were told that the case was assigned to the acting chief judge to favour the claimants.

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