Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, yesterday, declared the seat of the member representing Etsako West Constituency I, Mr. Abdulrazak Momoh, vacant for defecting to Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), from All Progressives Congress (APC).
The Speaker, Mr. Uyi Igbe, during plenary of the APC lawmakers at the Old Assembly complex in Government House, Benin, said the lawmaker’s defection did not follow due process.
According to him, section 109 (1g) of the 1999 Constitution as amended, empowers the Speaker to declare the seat of a lawmaker, upon defection to another party from the party he was elected, vacant.
He called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to fill the vacant position within 90 days.
The 14 APC legislators loyal to Igbe have been at loggerheads with the nine PDP legislators out of which six were suspended for alleged misconduct.
Mr. Momoh, however, described the action as laughable, saying the move was to truncate the legal action instituted against APC legislators for allegedly forging his signature.
According to him, the Speaker once said in the media that he (Momoh) was not suspended because of a pending legal action he instituted against the House, adding “and the court restrained them from suspending and declaring my seat vacant. It is already a known fact that they do not obey court orders.
“What they have done in Government House is null and void because the Government House is not the designated place for legislative activities.
“To start with, there is a subsisting court order stopping the House from declaring seats vacant, suspending and stopping the remunerations of the defected lawmakers.