Fubara Vs Wike: We Are Now In Full Control Of Rivers – PDP

On Saturday, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) asserted that Governor Siminalayi Fubara and the party have regained full control of Rivers State.

The statement, issued by the National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba in Abuja, emphasized that all legislators who defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State have lost their claims to their seats, with legal considerations now favoring the PDP.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) declared on Saturday that Governor Siminalayi Fubara and the party now hold full control over Rivers State.

The statement, issued through its National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, in Abuja, asserted that all Rivers legislators who defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) have forfeited their seats, with legal considerations favoring the PDP.

Ologunagba criticized the APC for what he deemed as baseless claims aimed at subverting Nigeria’s constitution.

He highlighted Section 109(1)(g) of the Constitution, emphasizing that former lawmakers who defected from the PDP to the APC have automatically lost their seats in the Legislative House.

He expressed disappointment in the APC’s attempts to obscure this fact through litigations and lengthy press statements.

In its attempt to circumvent the Constitution and provide former members of the Rivers State House of Assembly with a lifeline, the APC inadvertently acknowledged the clarity of Section 109(1)(g) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), which nullifies their seats upon defection.

Section 109(1)(g) stipulates that a member of a House of Assembly shall vacate their seat if, as a member sponsored by a political party, they join another political party before the expiration of the House’s tenure. This provision applies unless the defection is due to a division within the original party or a merger of two or more parties, one of which sponsored the member.

Ologunagba reiterated that all Assembly members who defected to the APC are now considered former members. He urged both the APC and the legislators to abandon any hopes of their party assuming control of Rivers State.

“The former members of the Rivers State House of Assembly voluntarily vacated their seats, thereby forfeiting their membership in the legislative body.

There are no provisions in the Constitution that shield or permit them to retain their positions after defecting from the political party under which they were elected.

These former legislators are solely responsible for their constitutional forfeiture of their seats, a consequence that cannot be reversed or rectified.

They must acknowledge their misjudgment and bear the inevitable repercussions.

This is particularly evident in the Supreme Court ruling in the case of Abegunde vs Ondo State House of Assembly and Others, which affirmed the significance of Section 109(1)(g) in validating the automatic vacation of a legislator’s seat upon defection from the sponsoring party.

Once again, the PDP advises the APC to refrain from interfering in Rivers State affairs.

They must abandon any notions of forcefully seizing control of the state and refrain from further aggravating public sentiments by attempting to reverse irreversible actions.

The APC must accept that with the vacation of seats by the former lawmakers, the quorum of the Rivers State House of Assembly will be determined by the remaining legislators as stipulated by law.

This will remain the status quo until bye-elections are conducted to fill the vacancies resulting from the defection of the former members.”