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JUST IN: Saraki, Dogara, others defection unlawful, says Court

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has declared as unlawful the defection of 53 lawmakers in the National Assembly to other political parties, Channels TV reports.

Delivering the judgement on Friday, May 17, Justice Okon Abang held that based on the judgement of the Supreme Court, which gave reasons that would allow for defection, the lawmakers did not meet that requirement.

The judgement followed a suit filed by the Legal Defence Assistance Project (LEDAP), challenging the defection of the Senate President Dr Bukola Saraki, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara and 51 other lawmakers.

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LEDAP had asked the court to order the lawmakers to vacate their seats in the National Assembly and return all salaries and allowances earned since their defection, arguing that the lawmakers defected from their political parties for selfish reasons other than division in their parties as prescribed by law.

Curiously, in the case of one of the lawmakers, Senator Godswill Akpabio, Justice Abang held that he is not in violation of the law because he neither decamped nor defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) with the facts before the court.

The court had on Monday, May 13, granted leave to Senator Akpabio to file an application challenging the suit by LEDAP, as the Akwa Ibom senator said he was not informed by the clerk of the National Assembly or even personally served with the said suit.

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