Court Sacks Cross River Lawmakers For Joining APC

Twenty members of the Cross River State House of Assembly have been sacked for dumping the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the All Progressive Congress (APC).

Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, sacked the lawmakers in a ruling on Monday, Naija News reports.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had filed a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/975/2021 against the lawmakers alongside Governor Ben Ayade over their defection to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The presiding judge ruled that the lawmakers ought to vacate their seats having abandoned the political party that brought them to power.

Justice Taiwo, however, ordered the Assembly Speaker and the other lawmakers who defected from the PDP to the APC should immediately vacate their seats.

He held that all salaries and allowances paid to the lawmakers from the period of their defection to the present should be forfeited to the government coffers.

The affected lawmakers are Michael Etaba, Legor Idagbor, Eteng Jonah William, Joseph A. Bassey, Odey Peter Agbe, Okon E. Ephraim, Regina L. Anyogo, Matthew S. Olory, Ekpo Ekpo Bassey, Ogbor Ogbor Udop and Ekpe Charles Okon.

Others are Hillary Ekpang Bisong, Francis B. Asuquo, Elvert Ayambem, Davis Etta, Sunday U. Achunekan, Cynthia Nkasi, Edward Ajang, Chris Nja-Mbu Ogar and Maria Akwaji.

Counsel to the 4th-25th defendants, Mike Ozekhome (SAN) had challenged the court’s jurisdiction to hear the suit.

He submitted that the cause of action arose in Calabar and that the matter should be transferred to the high court in Calabar.

But the presiding judge held that there is nothing against the law that the suit is heard by the court, adding that he finds no merit in the application for transfer.

Justice Taiwo said the 4th-25th defendants are joined with other defendants who have their offices in Abuja.

Recall that a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja had also sacked the Speaker of the Ebonyi State House of Assembly, Hon. Francis Nwifuru.

Justice Inyang Ekwo while delivering his judgement directed the Speaker and other lawmakers who dumped the Peoples Democratic Party in 2020 following the defection of the state Governor, David Umahi to the All Progressives Congress to vacate his seat.

Ekwo also directed that all lawmakers who were elected on the platform of the PDP and defected to APC should vacate their seats.

This article was originally published on Nigeria News