Falana: Rivers PDP Lawmakers Who Decamped to APC Have Lost Their Seats

Falana: Rivers PDP Lawmakers Who Decamped to APC Have Lost Their Seats

  • Renowned human rights lawyer Femi Falana has weighed into the ongoing debate surrounding the latest development in the Rivers state crisis
  • Some 25 lawmakers in the state were reported to have defected from the People's Democratic Party to the All Progressive Congress
  • Falana said it is unconstitutional for legislators to change party, asserting that the 25 members of Rivers House of Assembly have lost their seats

The famous activist and human rights lawyer Femi Falana has explained that the Nigerian constitution does not allow lawmakers to change political parties while in office.

He asserted that all the 25 legislators in Rivers who switched from the People's Democratic Party to the All Progressive Congress have essentially forfeited their position.

Femi Falana
Femi Falana explained that the constitution was after keeping the sanity of the legislative arm Image: Facebook
Source: Twitter

Falana said this while speaking of Channels Television on Sunday's Politics, where he was analysing the legal implications of the action of the members of the Rivers House of Assembly.

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He said the rationale behind the law is to prevent the lawmakers from engaging in what he termed political prostitution.

He noted that a court order prohibits the 25 concerned lawmakers, including the speaker of the House, from parading themselves as state legislators.

He said:

“Unless you can show and demonstrate that there is division in a political party that sponsored your election, you cannot remain in any legislative arm if you decamp to another party. It may be very difficult to persuade the court to allow them to remain in the legislative house unless they are prepared to go back to the people and have their mandate renewed by the people.

He then cited an example of a similar incident that happened in the past when the Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional.

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He said:

"The Supreme Court made this clear in the case of Adetunde and the Labour Party, that you cannot decamp and then remain a member of a legislative house in Nigeria unless you can show that there is a division in your party. It doesn’t mean a division in a local government or a state. It has to be on the national level. That is the position of the court.”

Femi Falana Sends Strong Message to Tinubu’s Govt

Legit.ng had earlier reported that the debate on state police has continued to top discussions in the polity, and Femi Falana had decided to make his position known.

The legal luminary warned against the idea while noting it would be used by some state governors against the will of their people.

Source: Legit.ng

Authors:
Ibrahim Sofiyullaha avatar

Ibrahim Sofiyullaha (Editorial Assistant) Sofiyullaha is the Editor-in-Chief of the First Technical University Association of Campus Journalists. He's an undergraduate student of Biomedical Engineering and a passionate writer. Email: ibrahim.sofiyullaha@corp.legit.ng

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