How PDP Plan To Sack 37 Defectors After Losing In Court

How PDP Plan To Sack 37 Defectors After Losing In Court

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has returned to the drawing board in its determination to sack from the House of Representatives, the 37 Reps that who umped the PDP for the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The PDP leadership is understood to be unrelenting in getting the 37 Reps out of the House.

Party sources said yesterday in Abuja that the PDP was mounting pressure on the party’s Caucus in the House to raise a motion to ask the defectors to vacate their seats.

The game plan, according to sources, is for the PDP Caucus to disown the House leadership’s position that the court case instituted by the defectors should run its full course .

It was gathered that a principal officer of the House had planned to address reporters on Thursday to disown the resolution of the Executive Session but was called off at the last minutes.

A source said: “The PDP is mounting pressure on its caucus in the House to prevail on Speaker Aminu Tambuwal and Deputy, Chief Emeka Ihedioha to declare the seats of the 37 Representatives vacant.

“If the party had its way, it would not mind its members creating a scene over the judgment. That was the plot on Wednesday before it was tactically foiled by Tambuwal.

“As I talk to you, the ruling party has not given up in its desperation to sustain its majority in the House. “By next week, the party’s caucus might also make its position known too.”

The APC Caucus in the House is also scheduled to meet next week on the judgment,and take a position on it.

A member of the caucus said: “We have many options bordering on the appeal which we have filed against the judgment of Justice Ademola, other legal remedies available to us advised, and the likelihood of joining issues with some judicial officers at the level of the National Judicial Council(NJC).

“When we meet next week, we will come up with a position which may or not be in tandem with the Executive Session of the House on Wednesday.

“Definitely, we will not allow anyone to intimidate the APC Caucus with this judgment. Otherwise, PDP will continue with impunity in the House.”

The enrolled order on the Monday judgment of the Federal High Court Abuja just released shows that contrary to the perception in some quarters, Justice Adeniyi Ademola did not ask the 37 defectors to vacate their seats.

An official of the court yesterday said the reference to the vacation of seats in the judgment was an Obita dictum by Justice Ademola.

A copy of the order of Justice Ademola, which was obtained by our correspondent, reads in part: “It is hereby ordered as follows: That a declaration is hereby made that in view of Section 68(1) (g) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999(as amended), the 12th-53rd defendants cannot lawfully vote and or contribute to any motion for the removal or change of any of the principal officers of the 1st defendant(the House of Representatives).

“That a declaration is hereby made that the 12th–53rd defendants are not competent to sponsor, contribute or vote on any motion calling for the removal or change in the leadership of the House of Representatives or the removal of any of the principal officers of the House. “That an order of perpetual injunction is hereby made restraining the 12th- 53rd defendants from altering or changing the leadership of the House. “That an Order of Perpetual injunction is hereby made restraining the 12th– 53rd defendants, their agents, servants or privies or through any person or persons howsoever from taking any step or further steps, sitting, starting or doing anything to alter, remove or change the leadership of the 1st defendant.” A highly-placed source in the court said: “There has been pressure on the court and the judge since Monday on the nature of the order given. We have also taken time to explain that Justice Ademola did not ask the 37 Representatives to vacate their seats. In fact, the court produced the enrolled order and made same available to all those seeking enquiries. “Being a political matter, we are surprised that the image and the hard-earned integrity of the judge are being brought into the interpretation of the Obita dictum. “From the judgment and the order, there is no ambiguity at all. There is no where the judge asked the 12th–53rd defendants to leave the House. “The reference to vacation of seats was an Obita dictum. It was a reference said in passing which has no effect on the judgment. It ends there, it has no effect at all. “We were surprised that this Obita dictum was mistaken for judgment by those who should know.” Responding to a question, the source added: “There was no way Justice Ademola could issue an order on vacation of seats when there is another case before Justice Ahmed Ramat Mohammed of the Federal High Court specifically urging the second court to declare the seats of the 37 Representatives vacant.”

The Nation

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