Group defies order, asks another court to declare Akpabio’s seat vacant


Despite an order of an FCT High Court which restrained Senate President Bukola Saraki from declaring the seat of Senator Godswill Akpabio vacant, a group has asked another court to declare the seat vacant.
Justice Othman Musa had on Wednesday ordered Saraki not to impede Senator Akpabio’s access to the Senate building or take any action aimed at “his privileges and rights as a senator pending the determination of the originating summons of the applicant.”
But the Incorporated Trustees of Dynamic Patriotic Citizens Foundation yesterday asked a Federal High Court in Abuja to declare that Senator Akpabio has lost his seat as a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, by virtue of his defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC) on August 8, 2018.
The group contends that the former Senate Minority Leader defected to the ruling APC without any division, crisis or faction in the PDP as envisaged by the provision of Section 68(1) (g) of the 1999 Constitution.
The suit, brought on the group’s behalf by Tolu Babalaye, argued that Akpabio ought not to have defected from the party that sponsored him into the Senate without a division as envisaged by law.
Those listed as defendants are: ‎the Senate, the Senate President, the Deputy Senate President, the Clerk of the National Assembly, Senator Godswill Akpabio and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The order against Saraki was made after an ex parte application by Akpabio’s lawyers, Chikaosolu Ojukwu and Ebere Ahanonu, seeking to stop moves to declare his seat vacant following his defection from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
The suit has been adjourned to August 29 for further hearing.