Defection: Court Delivers Judgment On Saraki, Dogara, Others’ Case
Court Rules On National Assembly Defections
The Abuja division of the Federal High Court on Friday struck out a suit seeking an order to declare vacant, the seats Senate President Bukola Saraki and House Speaker, Yakubu Dogara.
52 other National Assembly members who defected from one political party to another last year, including a former Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio were also included in the suit.
In its judgment on Friday, Justice Okon Abang held that the plaintiff which instituted the suit, the Legal Defence and Assistance Project, lacked the legal right to institute the suit, Naija News reports.
According to him, though LEDAP is recognized as a registered corporate body under the Company and Allied Matters Act, that does not confer the right to institute the action on behalf of the public on it.
Justice Abang added entities allowed by law to institute such suits include the Independent National Electoral Commission, the political parties from which the legislators defected to the other ones, a member of any of the political parties, a member of the constituencies of the legislators or a registered voters in the lawmakers’ constituencies, it lacked the legal capacity to institute the action.
According to Punch, the judge held that despite the noble intention of LEDAP, its lack of locus standi to file the action had robbed the court of the jurisdiction to consider the merit of its claims in the suit.
The judgment advised that the plaintiff should have joined the Peoples Democratic Party, the All Progressives Congress, and the Action Democratic Congress which sponsored the elections of the defector legislators in its suit for it to have a legal standing.