PDP House of Reps Members Walk Out on Speaker, Dogara

Peoples Democratic Party members in the House of Representatives, Tuesday, staged a walk in protest over the defection of a member, Raphael Igbokwe, to the All Progressives Congress.
Igbokwe, who is from Imo State, first came to the House in 2011.
PDP members immediately walked out in protest after the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, allowed the defection to stand.
PDP members had argued that based on the recent decision of the Supreme Court, there was no division in the party.
Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, witnessed the defection of Igbokwe at the session.
Igbokwe announced that he had since joined the APC in January when there was a leadership crisis in the PDP.
The members said their walk out is based on a Supreme Court’s ruling that stated that any member of the National Assembly that defects to another party from his/her original party without requisite reasons should forfeit such seat.
The defection of the lawmaker representing Ahazu/ Ezinihitte Mbaise Federal Constituency, Imo State, attracted Okorocha, who came to give him support and encouragement.
Dogara had read a letter by the lawmaker, who cited crisis as the reason for his defection from the PDP to the APC.
Igbokwe said he joined the APC in January 2017 before the Supreme Court decided on the leadership tussle between the then caretaker committee chairman, Ahmed Makarfi and Ali Modu-Sheriff.
Igbokwe said he stopped attending PDP functions both in his home state and the National Assembly since January when he registered with the APC.
In a swift reaction, the Deputy Minority Whip, Binta Bello, objected, saying there was no division in the PDP since the Supreme Court had decided on the leadership tussle. She urged the Speaker to declare his seat vacant.
Ossai Ossai also brought the attention of the House of the Supreme Court ruling that solved the crisis of the PDP.
He cited section 68(1)g where a member would vacate his seat when he decides to leave the party which sponsored him without any division.
But Speaker Dogara in his ruling said he can only declare a seat vacant when the majority of the House agrees.
The PDP members cried foul, saying the defection was belated as there is presently no crisis in the party.
They claimed that the Speaker was partisan and failed to act properly on the matter.

Author: News Editor

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