Defection: Conduct fresh election in 27 Rivers constituencies, PDP tells INEC

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct new elections in the 27 state constituencies of Rivers State.

The party said this in a Monday statement in the wake of the defection of 27 Rivers State Assembly members (from the PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC) and called on INEC to declare their seats vacant.

The PDP contends that “according to Section 109 (1)(g) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), the seats of the 27 lawmakers have automatically become vacant as a result of their departure from the PDP, the political party under whose platform they were elected into the Rivers State House of Assembly.”

Quoting Section 109(1) of the Constitution, the PDP national spokesman Debo Ologunagba who signed the statement, maintained that, “a member shall vacate their seat if they become a member of another political party before the expiration of the period for which the House was elected, the PDP emphasises that the Supreme Court’s clear interpretation supports the view that the defected members have forfeited their seats, rights, privileges, recognition, and obligations”.

In light of these constitutional provisions, the PDP called on the Speaker of the Rivers State House Assembly to promptly adhere to the Constitution by declaring the seats of the 27 former lawmakers vacant.

Given the now-existing vacancies in the 27 State Constituencies of Rivers State, the PDP requests that INEC, within the stipulated period outlined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), organize fresh elections to fill the voids.

The PDP warned the lawmakers against presenting themselves as members of the Rivers State House of Assembly, cautioning that such actions could lead to charges of impersonation with serious legal consequences.