CROSS RIVER, Nigeria – A High Court sitting in Calabar, Cross River State capital, presided over by Hon Justice E. Ita has ordered Governor Ben Ayade to conduct local government elections in the State.
The Court in a Suit No: HC/514/2018 filed by the APC through their Lawyer, Chief (Barr) Utum Eteng against Gov. Ben Ayade and the State Attorney General, frowned seriously on the action of the defendants and stated that there is no alternative to obeying the constitution and the law in the matter of this nature.
The Court held that it is a breach of section 7(1) of the 1999 constitution for Gov. Ayade not to conduct election to usher in a democratically elected Local Government as stipulated by section 7(1) of the constitution and section 2(1) of the CRS Local Govt. Law 2007.
The Court said that more than 3 years after the expiration in December, 2018 of the democratically Local Govt. Councils put in place in December, 2015 by the Gov. Liyel Imoke led State Govt., the Ayade Government has not found it proper to do the needful by conducting Local Government elections into the 18 Local Government Councils in the State.
The Court also held that the representation put in place by APC members, Engr. Obono Onen, Ekaha Effiom, Hon. Polycab Effiom, Rt. Hon. Mkpanam Obo Ekpo and Benedict Lukpata, representing other APC possible Chairmanship candidates to the 18 Local Govt. Councils was in order pursuant to the High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2008.
The APC had stated that Gov. Ayade and the CRSG have no constitutional power to stop conducting local government elections in the eighteen local government areas in the state.
The APC was represented by Chief Utum Eteng, who led 2 other lawyers from his chambers, Barr. Jude Otakpor and Ihua-Maduenyi.They commended the Court for being on the side of the clear and unambiguous provision of section 7(1) of the 1999 constitution.