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Akpabio didn’t defect to APC,  Court rules

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Godswill Akpabio

The Federal High Court in Abuja ruled on Friday that a former Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio’s movement from the Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress last year was not a case of defection.

Justice Okon Abang, in a judgment held that that the senator only “moved to join APC out of frustration of being expelled by the PDP through a letter dated August 2, 2018”.

The judge held that having been expelled, Akpabio was at liberty to join another political party of his choice.

He held that to declare Akpabio’s seat vacant as requested by the plaintiff, Legal Defence and Assistance Project would be to punish him for exercising his right to freedom of association under section 40 of the Constitution.

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The court made the pronouncement in his judgment in a suit filed by LEDAP seeking an order declaring the seats of 54 members of the National Assembly, including Akpabio, accused of unlawful defection from the parties which sponsored their elections to other ones.

Although the judge struck out the case in respect of 53 of the lawmakers without considering the merit of the case on the grounds that the plaintiff lacked locus standi, he dismissed it in respect of Akpabio, after considering the claim of the plaintiff on merit.

Akpabio’s case was singled out among the cases of the 53 others being the only one whom the judge said successfully proved that he did not defect but moved following his expulsion by his former party.

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The judge ruled on the case against Akpabio on merit in his ruling incorporated in the Friday’s judgment while making a pronouncement on an application seeking the reference of the lawmaker’s peculiar matter to the Court of Appeal for interpretation.

The plaintiff had anchored its suit on section 68(1)(g) of the Constitution which provides that the seat of a legislator who defects from his or her party without any division in the party before the end of the tenure for which the party sponsors the lawmaker’s election shall be declared vacant.

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In his judgment, Justice Abang held that the provision of section 68(1)(g) of the Constitution was not applicable to Akpabio, who “neither defected nor decamped” but only moved to the PDP following his expulsion.

He held that he could not refer the matter to the Court of Appeal for interpretation as requested by Akpabio’s co-senators joined as defendants in the suit because the jurisdiction of the plaintiff who instituted the action was still being questioned.

The judge later struck out the case on the 53 legislators but held that his findings to the effect that Akpabio never defect was a decision on merit.

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Kano: Federal High Court nullifies suspension of five Kano lawmakers

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Applicant arraigned for allegedly stealing friend's camera worth N710,000

A Federal High Court sitting in Kano has nullified the suspension of five lawmakers of Kano State House of Assembly suspended for allegedly flouting the rules of the House.

The lawmakers whose suspension were voided by the court included Isiyaku Ali Danja, Salisu Ahmed Gwangwazo, Garba Yau Gwarmai and Mohammed Bello Butu Butu.

Justice Lewis Allagoa, while consenting to the prayers of the plaintiffs yesterday held that their suspension was a clear violation of their rights to participate freely in the affairs of the House.

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The judge directed the Kano House of Assembly and the Speaker to pay the suspended legislators all their withheld entitlements and dues.

The plaintiffs in an originating summons had implored the court to invalidate their suspension on the grounds that it amounted to a violation of Section 109 of the 1999 Constitution( as amended), which had stipulated and guaranteed their tenure in office. They also argued that their suspension was a contravention of the African Charter on human and peoples’ rights.

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On the contrary, the defendants through their lawyer, M.N. Duru had prayed the court to disregard the prayers of the plaintiffs.

The suspension of the lawmakers was announced at the plenary by the Speaker, Alhassan Gabasa in March, who accused them of leading the House to a rowdy session which was witnessed in the last minute bust that erupted in the House in the push to dethrone former Emir of Kano, Malam Muhammad Sanusi.

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Edo Assembly condoles with APC Youth Leader over father’s death

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The Edo House of Assembly, on Thursday, condoled with the All Progressives Congress (APC) Youth Leader in the state, Valentine Asuen, over the death of his father, Chief Scotty Asuen.

The Speaker, Francis Okiye, who led members of the Assembly to the residence of the youth leader in Benin, described the late Asuen as a great leader.

“On behalf of members and staff of the Edo house of assembly, I wish to express my sincere condolence to you on the passage of your father.

“Our consolation is that your father lived a good life worthy of emulation. He was a father and beacon of hope to many people,” Okiye said.

He said that the deceased left legacies that would see his children through life.

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In his response, the youth leader thanked the speaker and other members of the Assembly for the visit.

“On behalf of myself and my family, I thank you for your visit. I am honored.

Mr. Emma Asuen, an elder brother to the youth leader and APC chieftain, who spoke on behalf of the Asuen family, also thanked the lawmakers for their visit.

“My speaker, as a fellow party member, I am satisfied with your leadership style. You have shown yourself to be a man of integrity.

“We feel very proud of our father because he lived a good life. He died in April at the age of 78,” Asuen said.

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Governor Obaseki sued over alleged certificate forgery, perjury

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COVID-19: Edo orders shutdown of Lagos street to all business activities

Incumbent Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, has been sued for an alleged forgery and perjury of certificate, according to reports.

This comes as the state prepares for the next governorship election billed to hold on the 19th of September 2020.

WuzupNigeria learnt that the matter was tabled before a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, with evidence to back up the claims.

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In the originating summons sighted by Daily Independent, the plaintiffs are Edobor Williams, Ugbesia Abudu Godwin and Amedu Dauda Anakhu while the defendants are the All Progressives Congress (APC), Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Inspector- General of Police (IGP) and Governor Godwin Obaseki.

Meanwhile, Obaseki has submitted his nomination and expression of interest form at the National Secretariat of the All Progressives Congress

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The National Organising Secretary, Barrister Emma Ibidiro, received the form from the aspirant.

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