Defection: PDP asks court to sack Dogara - OPID News

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Sunday, 13 December 2020

Defection: PDP asks court to sack Dogara

 Defection: PDP asks court to sack Dogara 

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to sack ex-Speaker, Yakubu Dogara (representing Dass, Tafawa Balewa and Bogoro Federal Constituency of Bauchi State) on account of his defection to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Dogara, the immediate past Speaker of the House of Representatives, defected from the APC to the PDP before the last general election and won a re-election to the House of Reps on the platform of the PDP.

According to court documents Dogara, on July 24 this year, abandoned the PDP for the APC when he submitted a resignation letter to the Chairman of the Bogoro ‘C’ Ward, in Bauchi State.

The PDP and its Bauchi State Chairman, Hamza Koshe Akuyam, listed as plaintiffs in the suit, marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1060/2020 are contending among others, that by virtue of Section 68(1)(g) of the Constitution, Dogara by defecting from the party that sponsored him to the ninth National Assembly before the expiration of his tenure, ought to vacate the seat as he was no longer qualified to partake in the activities of the House of Reps.

Listed as defendants in the suit filed for the plaintiffs by their lawyer, Jibrin S. Jibrin, are Dogara, the Speaker of House of Reps, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the APC.

Akuyam stated, in a supporting affidavit, that there was no crisis whatsoever nor division in the first plaintiff, being the political platform under which the election of the first defendant (Dogara) as a serving member of the National Assembly was sponsored and from which he has defected to the fifth defendant (APC) before the expiration of the period for which he was elected

He also stated that there were no mergers involving the PDP from which Dogara defected.

Akuyam further stated that, having defected from the PDP before the expiration of the period for which he was elected, Dogara “has lost his seat/office as a member of the House of Representatives and is no longer entitled to participate in the legislative proceedings and other businesses of the National Assembly and/or entitled to salaries and allowances as a member of the National Assembly.”

He further stated that, given the facts and circumstances of the case, the Speaker of the House of Reps “is under legal obligation” to declare Dogara’s seat vacant and allow INEC to conduct election for his replacement.

The plaintiffs are praying the court to. among others, declare that Dogara has ceased to be a member of the National Assembly from the date he defected to the APC.

They want the court to direct Dogara to vacate his seat in the National Assembly and to refund all the salaries, allowances and all emoluments collected from the date of his defection from the PDP.

They want the court to direct the Speaker of the House of Reps to give effect to  Section 68(1) of the Constitution to forthwith declare Dogara’s seat vacant, and for INEC to conduct a by-election for his replacement.

The suit, now before Justice Okon Abang, was not heard on December 7 when it was listed for hearing.

The court has now rescheduled hearing for March 5, 2021

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