Sun. Jun 16th, 2024

By Ojukwu Emmanuel Chiadikaobi

 

The ongoing political turmoil in Rivers State has taken another twist as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) reaffirms its stance that the 27 lawmakers who defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) have permanently forfeited their seats in the state’s House of Assembly.

In a statement released by the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Debo Ologunagba, the party emphasized that the defection constitutes an irreversible breach of constitutional protocol.

Ologunagba’s statement comes in response to rumors circulating on social media suggesting that there might be attempts to reinstate the defected lawmakers.

He clarified the party’s position, citing a legal action filed at the Federal High Court Abuja, Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/1681/2023, where the PDP outlined its stance on the matter.

According to the PDP’s National Legal Adviser, Kamaldeen Ajibade, the defected lawmakers ceased to be members of the Rivers State House of Assembly from December 11, 2023, the date of their public announcement of defection to the APC.

The PDP seeks several declarations and orders against the former lawmakers, including a directive for bye-elections in their respective constituencies to fill the vacant seats.

Furthermore, the party seeks a perpetual injunction restraining the defected lawmakers from assuming any functions or duties of members of the Rivers State House of Assembly.

The PDP’s stance underscores the gravity of the situation, indicating its resolve to uphold constitutional integrity amidst political upheaval.

In related developments, the mass resignation of commissioners has been interpreted by some as evidence of the Rivers State government’s alleged hijack by certain political factions, while legal experts weigh in on the jurisdictional complexities surrounding the crisis.

Meanwhile, the Presidency asserts that national party leader Bola Tinubu remains neutral in the Rivers crisis, signaling a delicate balance of power dynamics at the national level amidst the state-level turmoil.

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