The Sokoto State House of Assembly may soon be engulfed in crisis as the Peoples Democratic Party in the state has asked a Federal High Court to nullify the seats of 27 members of the Assembly, who recently defected to the All Progressives Congress, APC, vacant.
The remaining two PDP lawmakers in the House of Assembly, Messrs Ibrahim Magaji Gusau and Al-mustapha Isa Wurno, who refused to join their colleagues in defecting to APC, and the PDP, are suing the defendants for breaching the rules of the Assembly with their mass movement to the opposition party.
The suit, which was filed by the plaintiffs yesterday, listed the 27 defecting members, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, the Inspector General of Police and the National Assembly as defendants.
Beyond the filing of the court processes, the plaintiffs are also calling on the National Assembly to take over the functions of State House of Assembly until law and order prevail.
According to the Originating Summons filed by counsel to the plaintiffs, Chukwuka Ugwu, the plaintiffs want the court to determine whether the 27 lawmakers can continue to retain their seats as members of Sokoto House of Assembly, having willingly left the PDP which sponsored them to their positions during the 2011 general elections.
The two lawmakers also prayed the court to determine whether by the combined operation of the provisions of Sections 106 (1) (d) and 109(1)(g) of the 1999 Constitution as amended, the 27 lawmakers seats could be declared vacant.
They also asked the court to determine whether the defection of the 27 lawmakers to the APC did not amount to willful vacation of their seats when there was no division in the PDP, which provided the platform in the first place for them to contest election and when the party had not merged with any other in the country.
The plaintiffs also asked the court to declare that the tenure of the 27 lawmakers in Sokoto House of Assembly ended with their defection to the APC and that their salaries should be stopped forthwith.