Rivers Political Tassel: 27 Pro-Wike Lawmakers remains sacked – Reps Opposition kicks

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By Joy Odor

Opposition lawmakers in the House of Representatives has affirmed that the 27 Pro-Wike lawmakers in the Rivers State House of Assembly who defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC) have been sacked by the Appeal Court in Rivers State and they remains sacked.

Hon.Ikenga Ugochinyere, the Leader of the Opposition in the House who disclosed this at a press briefing in the National Assembly on Thursday informed that by the latest ruling of the Court of Appeal Port-Harcourt Division, the lawmakers should vacate their seats immediately.

The Lawmaker explained that the issue is that the Appeal Court that ruled on the matter said that the jurisdiction to adjudicate on the matter lies on its powers and not any other court.

Ugochinyere said the implication of the ruling is that no other court can nullify the ruling of the Court of Appeal Port Harcourt Division on the defection of the lawmakers, noting that the Court of Appeal in its latest judgement ruled that it has jurisdiction to rule on the matter that was brought before the Rivers State House of Assembl.

“The section Sec 109 (1) g of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) is explicit on the issue of defection of an elected member of a legislative house from one political party to another.

“That section of the Constitution provides that any elected member of a legislative house who leaves a political party in which he/she was elected being a member of a political party in which he was elected, joins another political party before the expiration of the tenure of office in which he was elected automatically loses his or her seat”.

“The 27 Pro-Wike lawmakers left their seats in which they were elected into the Rivers State House of Assembly on 11th of December 2023 when there was no division in the political party in which they were elected into the house and defected to another political party” he stressed.

He said the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC should immediately begin the process of conducting election into the state constituencies in which the embattled lawmakers previously held position.

The Opposition Leader and other members of the green chamber of the National Assembly also called on the Inspector-General of Police IGP Olukayode Egbetokun to withdraw Police personnel stationed at the 23 local government Secretariats in Rivers State.

He said the tenure of all the elected 23 local government council chairmen who are loyal to a former governor of the State Barr Nyesom Wike had expired on June 13, 2024 as they were elected for a three year tenure.

Ugochinyere asked albeit rhetorically ‘should the nation sacrifice its hard won democracy on the alter of ego and ambition of one man and everybody will be afraid to speak truth to power?.

He added that this can only happen in some African nations like Paul Biya’s Cameroon, Mobutu Sese Seko’s Zaire and Idi Amin Dada of Uganda.

Another member of the opposition lawmakers group Hon.Dagomie Abiante a member of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP from Rivers State also re-echoed the statement of Hon.Ugochinyere saying that any lawmaker who leaves his or her seat before the expiration of the tenure of office in which he or she is elected should vacate the legislative house.

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