Ilorin - A Federal High Court sitting in Ilorin has declared the defection of the 22 members of the Kwara State House of Assembly from the People's Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC) legal and constitutional.
Justice Olayinka Faji held that the defendants would not lose their seats for another re-election because there was an established case of crisis in their former party, the PDP, which prompted their defection.
A member of the Assembly who stayed back in the PDP, Ibrahim illiyasu, had dragged the defendants before the court, asking that the defectors should vacate their seats and stand another election having dumped PDP for APC.
Counsel for the plaintiff, Barrister Salman Jawondo had urged the court to declare the seats of the speaker and 21 others vacant in view of the fact that they were elected on the platform of PDP,but defected to APC.
He argued that having left PDP for APC, the defendants' seats should be declared vacant and that they must stand another election for them to retain their seats.
However, counsel to the defendants led by Bola Razaq Gold argued that the defendants had the right to defect to any other party because of the prevailing crisis in their former party.
In his ruling, Justice Olayinka Faji said he relied on the judgment by Justice Chukwu which restrained Alhaji Kawu Baraje from parading himself as the INEC-recognised Chairman of PDP, stating that mere ruling that Bamangar Tukur was recognised as the official chairman of PDP showed indeed that there was a faction within the PDP.
The trial judge held that at the time of the defection by Kwara Assembly members, there was indeed a faction in PDP which made the defection by Kwara Assembly members legal and constitutional.
- CAJ News
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