PDP asks defected Rivers lawmakers to vacate seats

The Peoples Democratic party (PDP) has asked the 27 State House of Assembly members who defected the party to the All Progressives Congress (APC) to vacate their seats by virtue of the provision of Section 109 (1) (g) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).

It also demanded that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should immediately commence the process of conducting fresh elections into the 27 State Constituencies of 32 that make up the State House of Assembly.

Debo Ologunagba, the National Publicity Secretary in a statement issued on Monday and made available to TheNewspad, urged the Speaker of the Rivers State House Assembly immediately comply with the provision of the Constitution by declaring the seats of the 27 anti-
Siminalayi Fubara’s lawmakers vacant.

“For the avoidance of doubt, Section 109 (1) of the 1999 Constitution provides that “a member of a House of Assembly shall vacate his seat in the House if … (g) being a person whose election to the House of Assembly was sponsored by a political Party, he becomes a member of another political party before the expiration of the period for which that House was elected…”

“By reason of the above Constitutional provision and its clear interpretation by the Supreme Court, the 27 defected members of the Rivers State House of Assembly have vacated and lost their seats, rights, privileges, recognition and obligations accruable to members of the Rivers State House of Assembly.

“In view of the vacancy now exiting in the 27 State Constituencies in Rivers State, the PDP demands that INEC should within the stipulated period under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) conduct fresh election to fill the vacancies”, Ologunagba said.

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He advised the defected lawmakers to stop parading themselves as members of the Rivers State House of Assembly as such would amount to impersonation with serious criminal consequences and commended the people of Rivers State for their steadfastness and loyalty to Democracy and Rule of Law especially at this time.

TheNewspad reports that the defection of the lawmakers who are loyal to Nyesom Wike, the FCT Minister’s faction, was a fresh twist to the lingering political impasse between governor Siminalayi
Fubara and his political godfather and former Governor of the State.

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