Lawmakers’ defection: Court reserves judgement for March 26

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has reserved judgement in the suit instituted by some defecting federal lawmakers from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

At the resumed hearing yesterday, counsels to the defendants in their unanimous submissions, argued that the court should dismiss the suit
on the grounds that the case is academic, speculative and futuristic.
Counsel to the PDP and its ex-chairman, Mr. Joe-Kyari Gadzama, urged the court to strike out the suit.

He said: “The case has been a thorn in our flesh. The matter is not justiceable and more importantly there was no threat either from the Senate President or the Speaker of the House of Representative to declare the seats of the lawmakers vacant.
Gadzama further said the mere threat from the former chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, was unconstitutional and, therefore, should not have been taken seriously.

“The mere disagreement in the PDP is not enough to warrant the defection of the lawmakers,” he said.
In his reply to the submissions made by the defence counsels, counsel to the plaintiff, Mahmud Magaji, argued that the mere acknowledgement of the fact that there was a faction in the PDP was enough reason for the plaintiffs to defect to the APC.

He said: “The provisions of section 68 0f the 1999 with the provisions of section 64 of the 1979 Constitution is enough to warrant a defection to from one political party to the other. It does not matter the quantum of division in the political party.”

Gadzama, however, assured the defecting lawmakers that their seats would not be declared vacant pending the determination of the sui before the court.
Defendants in the suit are Tukur, Mark, Tambuwal, PDP and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

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