PDP Writes INEC, Demands Election To Replace 27 Defected Rivers lawmakers

ABUJA – The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has demanded that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) immediately commence the process of conducting fresh elections into the 27 State constituencies in Rivers State, which have become vacant by reason of the defection of the 27 former state lawmakers in the Rivers State House of Assembly to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Invoking Section 109 (1) (g) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) to support their claim, the PDP claims that the 27 former lawmakers’ seats in the Rivers State House of Assembly are now vacant due to their departure from the PDP, the political party platform on which they were elected.

This was disclosed in a news release that Debo Ologunagba, the party’s national publicity secretary, signed.

The statement partly reads, “For the avoidance of doubt, Section 109 (1) of the 1999 Constitution provides that “a member of a House of Assembly shall vacate his seat in the House if … (g) being a person whose election to the House of Assembly 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…”

“By reason of the above Constitutional provision and its clear interpretation by the Supreme Court, the 27 defected members of the Rivers State House of Assembly have vacated and lost their seats, rights, privileges, recognition and obligations accruable to members of the Rivers State House of Assembly.

“he PDP, therefore, demands that the Speaker of the Rivers State House Assembly immediately comply with the provision of the Constitution by declaring the seats of the 27 former lawmakers vacant.

In view of the vacancy now existing in the 27 state constituencies in Rivers State, the PDP demands that INEC should, within the stipulated period under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), conduct a fresh election to fill the vacancies.

Our party cautions that the former lawmakers should stop parading themselves as members of the Rivers State House of Assembly as such would amount to impersonation with serious criminal consequences.

The PDP commends the people of Rivers State for their steadfastness and loyalty to democracy and the rule of law, especially at this time.

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