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PDP House of Reps Members Walk Out on Speaker, Dogara

20 December 2017

THE defection of a member of the House of Representatives, Raphael Nnana Igbokwe, to the All Progressives Party (APC) on the floor of the Green Chamber yesterday caused a walkout from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Caucus.

They had argued that the judgement barred members from leaving the party upon which they were elected to the House, saying that the effect was to lose their seat.

She argued that by the ruling of the Supreme Court, which affirmed Ahmed Makarfi as the then leader of the party, the issue of division in PDP was led to rest, hence Igbokwe had no basis for defecting.

Imo State Governor, Mr. Rochas Okorocha, was present at the session.

Hon. Igbokwe, a member representing Ahiazu - Mbaise/Ezinihitte federal constituency of Imo State, had announced, through a letter to the speaker, that he was leaving the umbrella party. Please drop your comment!

The PDP members said they were standing on a Supreme Court ruling that states that any National Assembly member that defects without requisite reasons must lose his or her seat.

Igbokwe, in his letter, said: "I write to inform the Rt Honourable Speaker and my dear colleagues that I have since registered and joined the APC since January 2017".

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Ossai Ossai also brought the attention of the House of the Supreme Court ruling that solved the crisis of the PDP.

He cited section 68 (1) g where a member would vacate his seat when he decides to leave the party which sponsored him without any division.

Consequently, the PDP angry lawmakers walked of the plenary in protest.

He cited lines from the letter saying that the lawmaker stopped attending PDP meetings since January 2017 even before the Supreme Court resolved the party's leadership crisis in June 2017.

But Speaker Dogara in his ruling said he can only declare a seat vacant when the majority of the House agrees.

The PDP members cried foul, saying the defection was belated as there is presently no crisis in the party.

PDP House of Reps Members Walk Out on Speaker, Dogara