The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, has sacked 20 members of the Cross River State House of Assembly over defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC).
Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Abuja High court who delivered the judgement, held that the lawmakers ought to vacate their seats, having left the political party (PDP) that gave them the platform to win the seats.
The judgement sacking the lawmakers followed a suit filed by the PDP marked FHC/ABJ/CS/975/2021.
The lawmakers argued that the PDP had no locus standi (legal rights) to filed the case and that there was crisis in the party which warranted their defection to the APC.
Justice Taiwo however, dismissed the defence arguments. On the argument that the PDP was in crisis, the judge said it was a trick to mislead the court.
According to him, ”The action of the 5th to the 25th Defendants is feeble and constitutes an attempt to pull wool over the eyes of the court.
“Their counter affidavit is manifestly defective,” Justice Taiwo stated.
The judge granted all the relief sought by the PDP.
The Cross River House of Assembly members had in May 2021, joined the APC shortly after the state governor Prof. Ben Ayade did so.
The Cross River judgement unlike the Ebonyi ruling which sacked both the state governor, David Umahi and the House of Assembly members who defected to APC, spared the governor as it was only lawmakers who jumped ship that were affected.