June 21, 2024

The was an uproar in the lower chamber of National Assembly on Tuesday when a lawmaker from Imo State, Mr. Raphael Igbokwe dumped the Peoples Democratic Party fir the All Progressives Congress.

The defection did not go well with the members of the PDP and they protested it.

The reasin cited by the lawmaker was ‘division in the party’.

Members of PDP led by Deputy Minority Whip, Mrs. Binta Bello vehemently opposed the move and urged the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara not to accept the defection but instead declare his seat vacant.

She referred to the recent judgement of the Supreme Court which recognized Sen. Ahmed Markafi-led Caretaker Committee as the authentic Chairman of the party.

Bello, who is from Gombe State, added, “Mr. Speaker, the PDP is one family and we don’t have any division. Our case was settled by the Supreme Court and a member cannot come here and be telling the House that the PDP has divisions. It is not true.”

All attempts made by the majority leader of the house, Femi Gbajabiamila to talk were rebuffed by the PDP members as they shout him down.

Igbokwe had informed the House that he actually defected to the APC since January this year and had been paying his membership dues to the APC.

“You will recall that the judgment of the Supreme Court that finally resolved the leadership crisis was delivered in July 2017, six months after I joined the APC,” part of his defection letter read.

As the protest was ongoing, the Speaker ruledvin favour of the defection and immediately the gavel bangs, Bello jumped on her feet and asked her colleagues in the PDP to leave the chamber.

The Speaker noted that his understanding of Section 68(2) of the constitution would also imply that the House must first pass a resolution to decide whether to declare Igbokwe’s seat vacant or not.

“In this case, it will even be the decision of the majority and a losing battle already,” the Speaker ruled.

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