Ondo Assembly, Labour Party insist decampee lawmaker must leave House

Labour Party

The Assembly wants the Federal Lawmaker recalled for joining the Action Congress of Nigeria.

The Ondo State House of Assembly and the Labour Party have told a Federal High Court in Akure that the sacked member of the House of Representatives, Akure North/Akure South constituency, Ifedayo Abegunde, must vacate his seat as ordered by the court.

Counsel to the Assembly and Deputy Director of Civil Litigation, Fredrick Akinnibosun, made the submission before Justice Wali on Thursday when the hearing of the application for stay of execution of the judgement was stalled by the absence of Mr. Abegunde and his legal team, led by Yemi Osinbajo, in court.

Mr. Abegunde was removed from the Lower Chamber of the National Assembly on May 30 in a judgement by Justice Gloria Okeke in a suit he instituted for judicial protection against his recall from the House of Representatives.

He was elected into the parliament on the platform of the Labour Party in April 2011, but defected to the Action Congress of Nigeria after a few months in the House arguing that by Section 68(1) (g) of the 1999 Constitution and the division and factionalization in the Labour Party, he is entitled to dump the party.

But Mr. Okeke ruled that “since it is Labour Party that sponsored Abegunde in the election into the House of Representatives to represent Akure North/Akure South Federal Constituency and defected on account of unproven imbroglio, crisis, dispute and factionalization in the party, the plaintiff has lost the seat and should therefore vacate the seat and I so hold.”

One of the plaintiff’s counsels, Segun Akanmode, had filed two applications of stay of execution FHC/AK/CS/3/2012 before Mr. Wali and another CA/AK/110/2012 at the Court of Appeal, Akure Division, saying that if it they are not granted, Mr. Abegunde stood the risk of being recalled before his appeal against the verdict is determined.

The respondents replied in their counter affidavit that the interest of the Federal Constituency who voted for LP would be adversely affected and they would suffer great hardship if the application is granted.

“My Lord, we are not unmindful of the fact that the applicant filed similar application at the Court of Appeal. Ordinarily we should have prayed this honourable court to strike out those applications, but for the absence of the other party in court,” Mr. Akinnibosun said.

Mr. Wali thereafter adjourned the matter to December 18 for the hearing of the application for the stay of execution of the judgement.

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