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Rivers Crisis: Defected Lawmakers Can’t Return, PDP Insists

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says the 27 lawmakers at the Rivers State House of Assembly who defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) have lost their seats forever.

The party said this in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Debo Ologunagba, in Abuja.

Ologunagba said that the clarification was necessary following a mischievous report on social media claiming that there were plots to compromise the party’s position to return the defected lawmakers to their seats.

Our party therefore stands by its position that the affected members have since lost their seats in the Rivers State House of Assembly, having committed an unpardonable constitutional breach.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the PDP, in its counterclaim by its National Legal Adviser, Kamaldeen Ajibade, in Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/1681/2023 filed at the Federal High Court Abuja, stated clearly:

“That the former Rivers State lawmakers “are no longer members of the Rivers State House of Assembly from Dec. 11, 2023, when they publicly announced their defection from the PDP to the APC.

“For emphasis, the PDP in the said suit seeks, among others, the following Declaration/Orders against the former Rivers State lawmakers,’’ he said.

He added: “A declaration that by provisions of Section 109 (1)(g) of the Constitution of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), the seats of the plaintiffs have been vacant since Dec. 11, 2023, when the plaintiffs announced their defection to the APC.

“A declaration that the plaintiffs are no longer members of the Rivers State House of Assembly, having defected to the APC on Dec. 11, 2023.

“An order directing the first defendant (INEC) to conduct bye-election in the respective constituencies of the plaintiffs in compliance with the provisions of the laws.

“An order of perpetual injunction restraining the plaintiffs from parading themselves and/or further parading themselves or from performing or further performing the functions and duties of members of Rivers House of Assembly.”

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