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Court Orders 37 Reps to Resign for Defecting!


A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has ordered 37 former members of the
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to resign their seats at the House of
Representatives for defecting to the All Progressives Congress, (APC).
While delivering judgment, Justice Adeniyi Ademola held that the
defected lawmakers no longer had any business, morally and legally, to
stay in the House of Reps.
He asked them to resign from their seats honourably as members of the
House of Representatives, having moved to another political party, while
their tenure had yet to expire.
Justice Ademola said “having perused the arguments of counsel and the
constitutional provisions, it is clear and unambiguous that the
defendants were sponsored by the PDP and won the election on its
“It is also the court’s opinion that their tenure has not expired
and there is no division in the PDP.
“The defendants are, therefore, not competent to vote or contribute to
any proceedings in the House of Representatives.
An order of perpetual injunction is, hereby, ordered, restraining them
from altering or attempting to change the leadership of the House of
The PDP had on January 7 instituted a suit seeking to restrain the House
of Representatives from altering the composition of its leadership.
The party had commenced the action following the defection of 37
lawmakers, who won election on its platform, to the opposition APC.
Mr Yunus Usman (SAN), PDP’s counsel had, while arguing his originating
summons, faulted the cross-carpeting of the lawmakers, saying that the
legislators did so during the dependency of a judgment.
He argued that by virtue of the Oct. 2013 judgment of Justice Evoh
Chukwu, which said there was no division in PDP, the matter had been
laid to rest.
Usman had further submitted that by virtue of the provision of Section
68(1)(g) of the 1999 Nigerian constitution, as amended, the  lawmakers
ought to have vacated their seats immediately.
Mr Mamoud Magaji (SAN), counsel to the defendants, had in his
submission, argued that it was wrong for the PDP to have sought to
restrain its former members from House activities for defecting.
Other defence counsel, Mr Niyi Akintola, SAN, Mr Sebastian Hon, SAN, Mr
James Ocholi,SAN, Mr Abiodun Owonikoko,SAN, and Jibril Okutepa,SAN, had prayed the court to dismiss the suit.

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