- Following the defection of some Imo lawmakers, their former party has declared their seats vacant
- The party says it is making moves to reach out to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to commence the process to fill the seats
- The party cites provisions of the constitution to back its claim that the seats are now vacant
All the lawmakers of the Imo state House of Assembly who recently left the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have lost their seats, the national leadership of the party has declared.
The party said it received a report that some of the lawmakers, elected on the platform of the party, had decided to abdicate the mandate they hold on behalf of the people and join the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The PDP added that the lawmakers decided to dump the party for their selfish reasons adding that their action is unpatriotic and an unpardonable betrayal of the people of their respective constituencies who chose and identified with the ideal and visions of the party as the platform for their representation.
"The defectors have indeed shown absolute lack of character, failure of leadership capacity in moments of challenges and absence of faith to stand with the people in their most trying moment, but are easily bought by personal pecuniary and political interests," the party leadership said through its spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan.
The PDP noted that it was sure the defectors are fully aware of the implication of their actions to the effect that by their defection to the APC, they have automatically lost their seats and membership of the Imo state House of Assembly as they can only hold such positions on the mandate of the party on which they were elected.
The party hinged its argument on the 1999 constitution (as amended), which states that a legislator who leaves a party upon which he was elected automatically losses his or her membership of that house as the seat belongs to the political party upon which platform the election was won and not the individual.
It said following the stipulation in the constitution, the defectors are considered to have vacated their seats and are no longer representing the people who voted for them.
The party said the next option available to it now is to request the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to immediately commence the processes for the conduct of fresh elections into the respective state constituencies.
The party urged its loyalists and members in Imo state now to take the laws into their hands but that they should remain focused at what it called trying time.
Ologbondiyan said the leadership of the party would proceed with arrangements ahead of fresh elections in the affected constituencies.
Legit.ng reported that the speaker of the state Assembly and seven others defected recently.
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