JUST IN: ’25 Defected Rivers Lawmakers Lost Their Seats’, PDP Insists, Attacks APC

TheTalk.NG journalist Ridwan Adeola Yusuf has over 9 years of experience covering politics and elections in Nigeria.

Port Harcourt, Rivers state – The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said that the 25 defected Rivers house of assembly members have “summarily lost their seats”.

TheTalk.NG recalls that lawmakers loyal to Nyesom Wike, the minister of the federal capital territory (FCT), defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in late 2023, the governing central party.

Steer clear of Rivers politics: PDP to APCThe PDP has warned the APC to steer clear of Rivers state politics. Photo credit: Official Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) NigeriaSource: Facebook

On Friday, May 10, 2024, the APC said the 25 defected legislators remain bonafide members of the Rivers assembly, adding that only a properly-constituted court of law can decide whether a house of assembly member has vacated his seat.

However, in a statement signed by Debo Ologunagba, its spokesperson on Saturday, May 11, the PDP said “nothing in the proviso protects or allows them to retain their membership of the Rivers state house of assembly after decamping from the political party upon which they were elected”.

The PDP said:

“These former members of the Rivers state house of assembly have only themselves to blame for constitutionally vacating their seats; a course which cannot be reversed or remedied. They should admit their miscalculation and bear the inescapable consequences.

“This is especially so as the Supreme Court, in the case of Abegunde vs Ondo state house of assembly and others, has since clarified and affirmed the import of the proviso in Section 109(1)(g) in validating the automatic vacation of a seat by a member of a legislative house who defected from the party upon which he was elected into that house.”

The PDP added:

“The APC should come to terms that with the vacation of seats by the former lawmakers, the quorum of the Rivers state house of assembly will be determined by the number of the remaining lawmakers as provided by law; until a bye-election is conducted to fill the vacancies now existing in the Rivers state house of assembly as a result of the defection by the former members.”

Source: TheTalk.NG

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