Rivers: INEC Gets Deadline To Conduct By-Elections To Replace 27 Lawmakers Who Defected to APC

Rivers: INEC Gets Deadline To Conduct By-Elections To Replace 27 Lawmakers Who Defected to APC

  • A notice has been given to the national electoral body to swiftly conduct a by-election for the vacant seats in the Rivers State parliament
  • The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has issued a two-week deadline to the electoral body to conduct a poll and replace the defectees in the parliament
  • Meanwhile, the group noted that the failure of the electoral body to adhere to this warning would be equivalent to a stern action

Legit.ng journalist Segun Adeyemi has over 9 years of experience covering political events, civil societies, courts, and metro.

FCT, Abuja – The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has issued a 14-day ultimatum to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to organise bye-elections for the 27 vacant constituencies in the Rivers State House of Assembly.

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This demand comes in response to the defection of 27 lawmakers from the People’s Democracy Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

NDC, Rivers, INEC
The NDC convener, Daniel Okwa, presided over the press conference in Abuja on Tuesday, December 12. Photo Credit Segun Adeyemi
Source: Original

During a press conference held on Tuesday, December 12, Daniel Okwa, the group’s convener, expressed concern about the implications of recent events in Rivers for democracy in the country.

Okwa emphasised that, under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the 27 members who defected have relinquished their seats in the state assembly, necessitating fresh elections.

Quoting from the Constitution, Okwa stated:

“A member of a House of Assembly shall vacate his seat in the House if – 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”.

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“The 27 controversial lawmakers must simply comply with the position of the law by vacating the Rivers State House of Assembly having breached Section 109 (g) of the Constitution that brought them into office. Under the law, these lawmakers cease to be elected representatives of the people and their offices must be declared vacant.” 

Group threatens protest

The group cautioned, emphasising that if the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) fails to adhere to legal requirements, citizens will take action against the electoral body.

The group said:

“We urge President Bola Tinubu to come out in clear terms and condemn the criminality being attempted in the name of the political party he leads, the APC.

“The President should tell Wike and the former lawmakers in clear terms that he cannot be associated or seen to be encouraging this shenanigans.”

Why we defected to APC, Rivers PDP lawmaker reveals

Meanwhile, a former PDP lawmaker, Enemi Alabo, has revealed why 27 Rivers State House of Assembly members defected to the PDP.

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Alabo said the internal division within the PDP and ongoing legal disputes related to the party’s secretaryship.

He said Section 109 of the constitution allows the lawmakers to defect to another party in the presence of a perceived division.

Source: Legit.ng


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