Court Strikes Out Suit Challenging Defection Of Saraki, Dogara And Others

The Federal High Court in Abuja has struck out the suit filed by the Legal Defence and Assistant Project (LEDAP), challenging the defection of 53 lawmakers for lack of locus standi to file the suit.

Delivering judgement in the case on Friday, Justice Okon Abang said although the plaintiff has a good case and the good intention of promoting good political behavior and rule of law, it has no locus standi to sue.

He further explained that LEDAP was not a political party that sponsored the defected lawmakers, or the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) which was conferred with the powers to monitor political parties.

He added that the plaintiff was neither a constituent of the defectors nor a registered voter that voted for them.

Beyond, that, Justice Abang said LEDAP had not put any thing before the court to show that the voters urged them to sue on their behalf and thereafter, the case was struck out.

Earlier, the judge had, however, stated that the defection of the 53 members of the National Assembly was unlawful based on the judgement of the Supreme Court, which had laid down reasons that would allow for defection.

According to him, the lawmakers did not meet that requirement.

He further explained that there was no division of the kind recognized by the Supreme Court to allow the defendant – that is, the Senate President and 52 others retain their seat with the exception of the third defendant, Senator Godswill Akpabio.

He said this is so because in his view, at the time they claimed there was division in their parties which resulted in them decamping, those political parties were still functioning as political parties, hence, the division was not of the kind that will enable them decamp.

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