Rivers crisis: Defected lawmakers have vacated their seats - NDC

Rivers crisis: Defected lawmakers have vacated their seats - NDC

The National Democratic Congress, NDC, has stated that the 27 Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, lawmakers who defected to the All Progressives Congress, APC in Rivers State have already vacated their seats.

The pro-democratic group therefore issued a 14-day ultimatum to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to conduct bye-elections for the 27 "vacant" constituencies in the State House of Assembly.

Torizone recalls that no fewer than 27 lawmakers from the PDP pitched their tent with the APC.

Daniel Okwa, the convener of the group, while addressing the press on Tuesday, expressed concern over the recent political developments in Rivers State, describing the situation as detrimental to democracy.

Okwa stated that, according to the Nigerian Constitution, the 27 lawmakers have forfeited their seats in the state assembly due to their defection, necessitating fresh elections.

"A member of a House of Assembly shall vacate his seat if, being a person, whose election was sponsored by a political party, he becomes a member of another political party before the expiration of the period for which that House was elected." Okwa stated, quoting Section 109 (g) of the Constitution.

He added, "The 27 controversial lawmakers must simply comply with the position of the law by vacating the Rivers State House of Assembly, having breached the Constitution. Under the law, these lawmakers cease to be elected representatives of the people, and their offices must be declared vacant."

The NDC expressed disappointment that the lawmakers were allegedly misinformed and misled into defecting without realizing the legal implications and warned of potential similar scenarios in other states.

The group urged INEC to conduct bye-elections promptly and cautioned that failure to comply with the law would result in citizens taking action against the electoral body.


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