Rivers Crisis: Speaker Declares Seats Of 25 Defectors Vacant

Rivers Crisis: Speaker Declares Seats Of 25 Defectors Vacant

6 months ago
1 min read

In a latest development in the Rivers State political crisis, the House of Assembly Speaker, Edison Ehie, has declared the seats of 25 members who defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) vacant.

The speaker, who made the declaration during the sitting of the five memebers, said they have received notice of defection of 25 lawmakers.

According to Hon. Ehie, section 109 (1) (g) and 2  of the Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution as amended is clear on the fate of the defected lawmakers.

His words: “We received formal notice from 25 members of the Rivers State House of Assembly of their defection from the PDP to the APC.

“While we respect the rights of Nigerians to freedom of association, as a legislative body, it is incumbent that we uphold the law.

“The 1999 constitution is clear on the fate of individuals who defect from political parties upon which they won election, in line with this, I hereby declare the seats of the 25 members vacant.”

The Speaker, after reading out the names of affected lawmakers, called on the Independent National Electoral Commission to conduct fresh elections within the time frame provided by law to fill the positions.

“Distinguished colleagues, the House will duly inform the Independent National Electoral Commission of the vacancies in the Rivers State House of Assembly and indeed, to conduct a fresh election to fill the above vacancies,” he said.

Twenty seven members of the State House of Assembly said to be loyal to the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory and immediate governor of the state, Nyesom Wike, defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the APC on Monday.

The lawmakers, who announced their defection at the plenary, cited division in PDP as the reason for the move.

READ ALSO: Demolition Of Rivers Assembly Building Based On Expert Advice – Commissioner

The move according to pundits was part of efforts to consolidate plans for the impeachment of the governor as the political battle between him and his predecessor, Wike rages.

The faction of lawmakers loyal to Wike and led by Martin Amaewhule had earlier initiated impeachment proceedings against Governor Fubara, but failed.

Meanwhile, Governor Fubara on Wednesday presented a budget of over N800 billion, tagged ‘Budget of Renewed Hope, Consolidation, and Continuity’ for the 2024 fiscal year before the five-member faction loyal to him.

The lawmakers moved their sitting to the government house following the demolition of the State House of Assembly complex on Wednesday by Governor Fubara’s administration.


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