The All Progressives Congress has on Monday, told a federal high court sitting in Abuja that former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara is not its member.
The APC’s position is contained in a counter-affidavit filed in response to a suit by the Peoples Democratic Party seeking that Dogara’s seat in the National Assembly be declared vacant for defecting to another party.
However, the APC was quoted in a counter-affidavit by its head of legal department, Dare Oketade to have told the court that Dogara’s name is not in the party’s membership register.
“In fact the 5th defendant (the APC) has not received an application for membership from the 1st defendant (Dogara) or any other person acting under the instruction of the 1st defendant; neither the 5th defendant has issued any membership card to the 1st defendant.
“Recording the name of the 1st defendant as member of the 5th defendant in the membership register of the 5th defendant and the subsequent issuance of APC’s membership card to the 1st defendant confers 1st defendant the membership of the 5th defendant,” the APC said according to a report monitored on The Nation.
While describing the suit by PDP as preemptive, the APC urged the court presided over by Justice Okon Abang to dismiss the suit.
Naija News recalls Yakubu Dogara back in July 2020, dumped the PDP for the APC alledging that the failure or breakdown of governance in his native state of Bauchi under the administration of Governor Bala Mohammed whom he helped install as a governor in the 2019 elections forced his exit.
The former speaker noted that he cannot successfully ask questions about the failure of governance in Bauchi state without being accused of disloyalty if he were to remain in the PDP.
However, after the defection, the PDP and its Bauchi State Chairman Hamza Koshe Akuyam approached the court claiming that there is no crisis in the party hence Dogara’s defection should be declared illegal and his seat declared vacant for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a fresh election.
The suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1060/2020 listed Dogara, the House of Representatives Speaker, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and the APC as defendants in the case.
They also want the court to order the Speaker of the House of Representatives to declare Dogara’s seat vacant based on Section 68(1) of the Constitution.
Akuyam argued that Dogara “has lost his seat/office as a member of the House of Representatives and is no longer entitled to participate in the legislative proceedings and other businesses of the National Assembly and/or entitled to salaries and allowances as a member of the National Assembly”.
Justice Abang has adjourned till February 4, 2021 for further hearing on the matter.
Meanwhile, Nobel Laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka has faulted the quit notice threat issued to the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Mathew Kukah.
Naija News reports that an Islamic group, Muslim Solidarity Forum, had asked Kukah to tender an unreserved apology over his Christmas Day message or leave Sokoto state.
But in a statement on Monday, Soyinka said the Bishop never insulted or denigrated Islam in his comment against President Muhammadu Buhari.
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