PDP asks court to declare lawmakers’ seats empty
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has sued the Speaker, Razak Atunwa, and 20 other members of the Kwara State House of Assembly to court over their defection to the All Progressives Congress, APC.
In the suit filed at the Federal High Court, Ilorin, on Friday, the state chapter of the PDP and a suspended member of the assembly, Iliasu Ibrahim, prayed the court to declare the seats of the 21 lawmakers vacant.
The plaintiffs joined the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, as a defendant in the suit Number FHC/IL/C5/4/2014.
The originating summons was supported by a 24-paragraph affidavit deposed to by Mr. Ibrahim.
The plaintiffs urged the court to evoke provisions of Sections 109 sub-section 1 (g), 153 (f) and 15 (a) of Part 1 of the Third Schedule of the 1999 Constitution.
They averred that the defendants had vacated their seats in the assembly.
According to the plaintiffs, the lawmakers ought to vacate their seats in the House since they defected from the PDP on which platform they secured the seats.
The PDP and Mr. Ibrahim are also asking the court to order the INEC to conduct fresh elections to fill the seats allegedly vacated by the legislators.
The plaintiffs claimed that this would be in line with the provisions of Sections 153 (f) and 15 (a) of Part 1 of the Third Schedule of the 1999 Constitution.
They urged the court to restrain the defected lawmakers from parading themselves as members of the House or performing duties relating to their respective offices.
The plaintiffs also prayed the court to order the defected legislators to refund and return to the state’s treasury, any money they collected as from January 22, when they defected to APC.
No date has been fixed for hearing on the case.
Before the lawmakers defected to the APC, the state governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, had in November 2013, decamped to the APC.