The Rivers House of Assembly has moved a motion declaring vacant the 25 seats of members who recently defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The motion was unanimously supported by the four-member assembly, led by Edison Ehie (PDP-Ahoada 11), during Wednesday’s plenary.
In his remark, Speaker Ehie said that the house had received notices and correspondences including newspaper publications from 25 members of the house on their formal defection from PDP to the APC.
“We are aware that it is the right of members and for every Nigerian as regards freedom of association.
“While we respect that constitutional right, we are also mindful as a legislative assembly of our allegiance to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended and our oaths of office to defend the constitution which is our guide.
“The actions of these honourable members and colleagues who have been on suspension is a gross violation of the constitution which provides that a member of the state house of assembly shall only defect to another party other than the party on whose platform they were elected if there is a division or crises in the parent party.
‘As we all know, there is no crisis in our great party, the PDP, therefore, the provision of section 109 , sub 1, paragraph G of the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria as amended attracts a vacation of the seats of these affected members,” Ehie said.
He also noted that there is no crisis or division in the party (PDP) as it had continued to operate with an undivided national leadership.
“Our party structure at the state level is also intact with a working committee led by Mr Chukwu Emeka as our state party chairman,” he added.