Rivers Crisis: Lawmakers Who Defected To APC Have Lost Their Seats – Falana

Femi Falana
Femi Falana

Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, says Rivers State House of Assembly members who quit the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to join the All Progressives Congress (APC) can no longer be considered legislators as they have lost their positions.

Recall that 25 lawmakers loyal to the immediate past governor of Rivers State and the current Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Nyesom Wike had defected to the APC amid the political impasse involving him and Governor Siminalayi Fubara.

In an interview on Channels Television on Sunday, the human rights activist cited cases where the Supreme Court had ruled that it’s illegal for lawmaker to dump a political party on whose platform he was elected.

“The 25 lawmakers who defected have lost their seats. They have lost their rights to remain members of the Assembly.

“In the case of Adetunde and the Labour Party, the Supreme Court made it clear 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. Today, the PDP is one,” he said.

READ ALSO: Fubara Can’t Change River’s Assembly Sitting Venue — Falana

The crisis bedeviling the oil-rich State took a new turn last week when some of the lawmakers elected Victor Oko-Jumbo as the speaker.

Oko-Jumbo who represents the Bonny constituency was elected by the lawmakers said to be loyal to Fubara.

Falana, has, however, said that the lawmakers need a quorum to elect a speaker.

“Again, we have to look at the Constitution. Before the House can conduct proceedings, the House must form a quorum to conduct the business of the House, and a quorum in the Constitution is defined.

“But if you want to remove the governor by way of impeachment, again you must have a two-thirds majority of the legislature. This is very clear,” Falana added.