APC Reps appeal court ruling on seats vacation
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.