|Senator for Cross River North|
|Preceded by||Gregory Ngaji|
2 March 1969 |
Cross River State, Nigeria
|Political party||People's Democratic Party (PDP)|
Benedict Bengioushuye Ayade was born on 2 March 1969. He studied at the University of Ibadan, Ambrose Alli University in Ekpoma and Delta State University, becoming a Lecturer. An environmental consultant, he was appointed Chairman of the Ecological fund, Chairman of the International Institute of Environmental Research and a member of SPAC. He worked on Groundwater Remediation in Nigeria, and invented a sewage treatment plant based on solar energy. He won an award from the government of Japan for outstanding research into Global warming in Africa. He became a member of the Nigeria Association of Petroleum Engineers and the Cross River State Poverty Alleviation Board.
In the January 2011 PDP primary elections, Ayade was reported to have defeated Senator Gregory Ngaji to become the candidate for the Cross River North Senatorial seat. In fact, his opponent was incumbent member of the House of Representatives Paul Adah, whom he defeated by 626 against 211 votes. Ngaji did not compete in the primaries, and said he supported Ayade.
Later that month it was revealed that Ayade was being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for allegedly swindling JM international, a Korean company, for $250,000. A petition was submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to investigate the matter. There was also an allegation that Ayade donated N20 million to the campaign Fund of Cross River governor, Liyel Imoke, in violation of the Electoral Act. In response to the second allegation, in February 2011 a Federal High Court justice in Calabar granted an order of interim injunction restraining Ayade from presenting himself as a candidate and barring the INEC from accepting Ayade as a candidate of any party. Eventually, both allegations were found to be untrue and the case was thrown out in court.
Ayade was popular with young voters. He had been criticized for coming off as arrogant—something tied to his wealth and academic background. A report before the election noted that he had no serious competitors in the race. In the 9 April 2011 elections, Ayade gained 91,123 votes. His closest rival was Patrick Agbe of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), who received 11,056 votes. Benedict Ayade was appointed Vice Chairman of the Senate committee on Environment and Ecology. He is also a member of the Senate Committees on Education, Marine Transport, Petroleum Downstream, and Drugs/Narcotics/Crime.
- "April 9, election results and updates". Daily Triumph. 15 April 2011. Retrieved 2011-04-24.
- "Profile of Professor Benedict Bengioushuye Ayade". Cross River State PDP. Retrieved 2011-04-24.
- James Azania (22 Jul 2008). "Allow election petitions reach Supreme Court – Ayade". The Punch. Retrieved 2011-04-24.
- Emmanuel Aziken, Dayo Johnson, Ben Agande and Luka Binniyat (January 9, 2011). "2011: Upsets as Ekaette, 8 senators crash out". Vanguard. Retrieved 2011-04-24.
- Emmanuel Ogala (January 10, 2011). "PDP primaries spring up surprises in the Senate". Next. Retrieved 2011-04-24.
- "Cross River Primaries Not Yet Uhuru". The Pioneer. 6 February 2011. Retrieved 2011-04-24.
- Tordue Salem (25 January 2011). "Alleged $.250 Million Fraud - EFCC Probes PDP Senatorial Candidate". Vanguard. Retrieved 2011-04-24.
- Dapo Falade (21 February 2011). "April polls: Is judiciary taking over the soap box?". Nigerian Tribune. Retrieved 2011-04-24.
- "National Assembly Polls: Our Forecasts". The News. March 28, 2011. Retrieved 2011-04-24.
- "BATTLE FOR SENATE: NDOMA-EGBA, OTU, OTHERS STIR CROSS RIVER POLITICAL FIELD". NBF News. 10 Mar 2011. Retrieved 2011-04-24.
- Eyo Charles (31 March 2011). "Cross River as PDP safe zone fending off ACN invasion". Daily Trust. Retrieved 2011-04-24.
- "PDP sustains lead as INEC releases more results". Edo State News. April 12, 2011. Retrieved 2011-04-24.