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Defected Rivers Lawmakers’ Seats Remain Vacant – PDP Insists, Dismisses Compromise Reports

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Rivers Explosion: Fubara Accuses Perpetrators Of Attempting To Create State Of Emergency

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has reiterated its stance that members of the Rivers House of Assembly who defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) have lost their seats.

News About Nigeria reports that the party clarified that it is not under pressure to compromise its position in court, as it has already declared the lawmakers’ seats vacant since December 11, 2023, when they publicly announced their defection.

The lawmakers are loyal to the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike.

In a press statement, PDP National Publicity Secretary Debo Olugunagba dismissed reports of plots to compromise the party’s position, stating that the affected members have committed an “unpardonable constitutional breach” and are no longer members of the Rivers State House of Assembly.

The statement disclosed that the PDP has filed a counterclaim at the Federal High Court Abuja, seeking declarations and orders against the former lawmakers, including a declaration that their seats have been vacant since December 11, 2023, and an order directing the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct bye-elections in their respective constituencies.

Olugunagba said that the party’s position is supported by numerous judicial decisions from the highest court in the country.

The PDP had earlier warned the APC to desist from manipulative plots to forcefully take over the government of Rivers State, accusing the party of attempting to subvert the Constitution and manipulate the political process.

The had said, “For the avoidance of doubt, Section 109 (1)(g) of the Constitution is clear in providing that a member of a House of Assembly shall vacate his seat in the House if – 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.”

In a related development, Wike has dismissed claims of being distracted by the political saga in Rivers State.

Wike made the statement on Friday, May 17, while inspecting key projects in Abuja scheduled for commissioning by President Bola Tinubu starting May 27 to mark his one-year in office.

Wike said, “I am not distracted as FCT minister. If I’m distracted, you will not see all these projects in FCT.”

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