Gov Emmanuel Ayade

The Court of Appeal sitting in Calabar, on Thursday, affirmed Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State as the winner of the state Governorship election.

The appellate court upheld the judgement of the election tribunal which had earlier affirmed Gov Ayade, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP as the winner of the election.

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The five-man panel of judges in a unanimous decision dismissed the petition of the factional candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) and former Minister for Niger Delta, Usani Usani, and upheld the judgment of the lower tribunal, which had ruled that Usani’s petition lacked merit.

The Court described the petition as a gross abuse of court processes, academic, hypothetical and frivolous.

Reacting, the Governor in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Christian Ita said the victory was an affirmation of the mandate overwhelmingly given to him by the people of Cross River State.

The governor dedicated the victory to God and the people of the state. Ayade also extended an olive branch to his opponents in other political parties to join hands with him in moving the state forward.

“The period of politics is over, it is time for governance,” Ita quoted the governor as saying.

He reaffirmed his commitment to developing the state and creating an economy that will ensure financial independence for the state through industrialisation and provision of first class infrastructure.