APC Reps ap­peal court rul­ing on seats va­ca­tion

Daily Trust - - NEWS - By Musa Ab­dul­lahi Kr­ishi, Ibrahim Kabiru Sule & Balarabe Alka­s­sim

The All Pro­gres­sives Congress (APC) cau­cus in the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives yes­ter­day filed an ap­peal against a Federal High Court rul­ing ask­ing 37 law­mak­ers to va­cate their seats for de­fect­ing from the Peo­ples Demo­cratic Party (PDP). A copy of the ap­peal let­ter, dated April 1 and signed by the APC coun­sel M. A Mah­mud (SAN), said an ap­peal has al­ready been filed, fol­low­ing in­struc­tion by the law­mak­ers.

On Mon­day, Jus­tice Adeniyi Ade­mola of the Federal High Court in Abuja asked the af­fected leg­is­la­tors to va­cate their seats since they de­fected while their tenures were still sub­sist­ing.

There was calm yes­ter­day when the House re­sumed ple­nary.

Daily Trust learnt that Speaker Aminu Waziri Tam­buwal had a pre-sit­ting meet­ing with other of­fi­cials where they re­solved that no mem­ber should bring up the mat­ter on the floor.

The APC cau­cus said the pub­lic and the me­dia mis­un­der­stood the ef­fect of the rul­ing.

Deputy mi­nor­ity leader, Rep Sam­son Osagie, at a press brief­ing, said the af­fected mem­bers would not va­cate their seats, as the court’s ver­dict was only that APC could not ef­fect lead­er­ship change in the House.

He said “the im­port of yes­ter­day’s rul­ing was that our 37 mem­bers can­not par­tic­i­pate in the re­moval of Prin­ci­pal Of­fi­cers of the House noth­ing more, noth­ing less.

“Ev­ery other pro­nounce­ment by the Judge as to the sta­tus of our 37 mem­bers of the House was mere opin­ion. In any event, this judg­ment was given in vain and in ig­no­rance of the House rules which gov­erns the ap­point­ment of party lead­ers in the par­lia­ment.”

Osagie said the preser­va­tion or­der against ques­tion of the court’s ju­ris­dic­tion had sparked fear in them as to the fi­nal out­come in the case, which “were fur­ther con­firmed when the judge af­ter grant­ing the re­liefs sought in the suit went ahead to ren­der an opin­ion on is­sues that were not be­fore him nor so­licited by the plain­tiffs.”

The APC na­tional head­quar­ters also is­sued a state­ment yes­ter­day, say­ing the judge did not ask the law­mak­ers to va­cate their seats.

But party spokesman Lai Mo­hammed said Jus­tice Ade­mola went be­yond the mat­ter be­fore him by say­ing that the law­mak­ers should not re­main in the House.

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