See What Falana Wants Defecting Lawmakers To Do
As season of defections continues, Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), has an advice for the newly signed 'players'.
He said on Sunday that legislators who recently defected from the political parties that sponsored their elections were not entitled to hold on to their seats.
Falana, who cited various decisions of the Supreme Court to back his stance, however, said defecting governors were not bound to resign from office as the Constitution was silent on the implication of a governor dumping a political party.
In a statement he released on Sunday, the Senior Advocate of Nigeria, also argued that there was no legal basis for the removal of the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, on the basis of his defection from the All Progressives Congress (APC) on which platform he was elected to the Senate in 2015, to the Peoples Democratic Party.
According to him, legislators can only justifiably defect from their political parties without losing their seats when there is a faction at the party’s national level such that it is difficult for the parties to function.
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He cited the Supreme Court’s decision in Abegunde v Ondo State House of Assembly (2014) LPELR 23683, in which the appellant a member of the House of Representatives, had decamped from the Labour Party to the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria.
Falana said: “From the clear and unambiguous pronouncements of the apex court, a division in a political party envisaged by the Constitution cannot be a figment of the imagination of prospective defectors.
“The division must make it practically impossible for the party to function.
“In the instant case, the APC was not split to the extent that two parallel congresses were held leading to the emergence of two parallel sets of officers at the national, state and ward levels".
the APC has said it would contest the defection of the Senate President in court.
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