Tension In Cross River As Aspirant Drags PDP Governorship Candidate, INEC To Court
PROFOUND tension is currently building in Cross River State as one of the aspirants in the concluded primaries of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Joe Agi (SAN) has dragged the party’s governorship candidate Senator Ben Ayade, INEC and PDP to court.
Though some party enthusiast and PDP heavyweights in the state are said to be jittery over the matter, the State Chairman of the party Ntufam John Okon in a swift reaction said, “Joe Agi has no grounds,” adding that there was no cause for alarm.
In a suit filed at the Federal High Court, Abuja and made available to some newsmen in Calabar, Agi, who came second in the PDP primaries said Ayade did not comply with the constitutional requirements of the party as at the time he contested the primary, as he did not pay his party dues as at when due and therefore sought to know whether PDP “is bound to enforce its constitution and electoral guidelines for primary elections 2014 in the process of nomination or selection of the gubernatorial candidate and if INEC was bound to ensure compliance”.
He also sought to know “whether the provisions of section 8(10), (15) of the PDP constitution, article 13 (a) of the Electoral Guidelines for primary elections 2014 and Section 177 (c) of the 1999 constitution (as amended) are mandatory and applicable to the nomination and selection of a gubernatorial aspirants under the platform of the PDP.
The PDP, Senator Ayade and INEC have so far not replied to the suit fixed for March 3rd, 2015 in Abuja, but the State Chairman of the party, Ntufam Okon in a telephone interview in reaction to the suit said, “ I’m not aware (of the suit but) how can he determine that the man (Ayade) has not paid his party dues. Is he (Agi) a party official?
“If that is the grounds that he is going to court then he has no grounds because Joe Agi knows what is going on…Ben Ayade is a full member of the party and he paid his party dues.
Apart from that, a Senator you know, his money is deducted directly from the National Assembly apart from the dues he paid at his ward level. Any legislature or any appointee, his money is deducted monthly from his pay and paid right from National Assembly down and there are records on that, so I don’t know where all that one is coming from but people will always look for what to do,” he said.
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