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Monday, December 11, 2023

Defection: Ondo Indigenes Ask Court To Declare 22 Lawmakers’ Seats Vacant

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A handful of Ondo State indigents have petitioned a Federal High Court sitting in Akure, advocating that is should declare the seats of 22 legislators who were elected under the platform of the Labour Party vacant, due to the fact that they have defected to the People’s Democratic Party.

Taofiq Abdusalam and Ayo Agbomuserin who happen to be the plaintiffs to the case, in an originating summon had sued the 22 House of Assembly members that defected from Labour Party to PDP on Wednesday, October 8, 2014, the Independent National Electoral Commission, Inspector General of Police, Director General, Department of State Security Service and the Ondo State House of Assembly.

In the suit, the former speakers sought declarations that the 22 lawmakers, who abandoned their original LP for PDP, have automatically and constitutionally left their seats vacant as memebers of the state house of assembly by virtue of Section 109 (1) (g) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

They also sought a proclamation that the legislators have since ceased to be members of Ondo State House of Assembly from Wednesday, October 8, 2014 having dumped the Labour Party under which they were elected, as well as a declaration that all legislative actions and activities performed, bill passed and other legislative functions carried out by them as members of Ondo state House of Assembly are null, void, unconstitutional and ultra vires.

in the drafted summon, they also prayed the court to grant an order of perpetual injunction restraining the lawmakers from parading themselves as members of the Ondo State House of Assembly and border restraining the INEC, the IGP and the Director General of State Security Service from recognising them as members of the state House of Assembly.

Abdusalam stated that the 22 legislators contravened section 109 (1) which provides that a member of a House of Assembly shall vacate his seat, if being a person whose election to the House of Assembly was sponsored by a political party, he therefore becomes a member of another party before the expiration of the period fro which he was elected, provided that his membership of the later political party is not as a result of a division in the political party of which he was previously a member.

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