Counsel to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Joe Kyari-Gadzama (SAN) has asked the Speaker of the House of Representative to disregard the defection of 37 members elected under the platform of the party to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
In a letter, Mr Gadzama informed the speaker that contrary to claims by the lawmakers that they had obtained a restraining order to compel the speaker to recognize their move, the presiding judge, without prompting by any of the counsels in the matter made an order that parties maintain the status quo pending the hearing of the motion on notice filed by the lawmakers, fixed for January 22, 2014.
This he said means no party should make any move aimed at altering their position with a view to dissipating the subject matter in the suit. He argued that the move by the defecting lawmakers is contrary to the court order and the Nigerian constitution.
He also argued that the mandatory criteria for any person(s) to switch parties have not been complied with, as such the move should be disregarded by the House and the lawmakers be directed to reverse to the status quo.
37 members of the House of Representatives who were formerly under the umbrella of the Peoples’ Democratic Party had defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC), making their defection known in a letter that was read on the floor of the House.
The lawmakers said that they were joining the APC due to “division and factionalisation” within the ruling party. The decampees also said that their defection to the APC is in compliance with section 68, subsection 1G of the constitution.