The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to declare the seats of the 27 lawmakers at the River House Assembly vacant, for defecting to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The PDP said this in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary Mr Debo Ologunagba in Abuja on Monday.
Ologunagba said that by leaving the PDP, on which platform they were elected, their seats had become vacant.
He said this was by virtue of the provision of Section 109 (1) (g) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).
“For the avoidance of doubt, Section 109 (1) of the 1999 Constitution provides that “a member of a House of Assembly shall vacate his seat in the House if …
“(g) being a person whose election to the House of Assembly was sponsored by a political Party, he becomes a member of another political party before the expiration of the period for which that House was elected…”
“By reason of the above Constitutional provision and its clear interpretation by the Supreme Court, the 27 defected members of the Rivers State House of Assembly have vacated
“They have lost their seats, rights, privileges, recognition and obligations accruable to members of the Rivers State House of Assembly,” he said.
Ologunagba added:“The PDP therefore demands that the Speaker of the Rivers State House Assembly immediately comply with the provision of the Constitution by declaring the seats of the 27 former lawmakers vacant.
“In view of the vacancy now exiting in the 27 State Constituencies in Rivers State, the PDP demands that INEC should within the stipulated period under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) conduct fresh election to fill the vacancies.”
He also cautioned the defectors from parading themselves as members of the House of Assembly as that would amount to impersonation.
According to reports 27 out of the 31 PDP lawmakers at the house on Monday defected to the APC.