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Rivers High Court Confirms 26 “Defected” Lawmakers Are Still Valid Members Of PDP

A Rivers State High Court in Port Harcourt, has ordered that the Martin Amaewhule and the other 26 members of the Rivers State House of Assembly who was thought to have defected are still members of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

Judge Okogbule Gbasam of the Rivers State High Court, after a contentious legal process, gave the judgement in Port Harcourt earlier on Monday. The ruling, which stated that the claimants could not prove that Amaewhule and 26 other members had defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC), flew in the face of public knowledge when the lawmakers publicly denounced their party and embraced the opposition APC in the state.

However, Justice Gbasam held that verbal declarations and/or television ceremonies were insufficient evidence to demonstrate a party’s membership, as membership may only be verified by being included on the party’s membership card or register.

Interestingly, the PDP had filed a motion to be joined in the case and was added as the fourth defendant.

Justice Gbasam’s ruling has serious legal and political implications for the Rivers state governor who has carried on as though the Amaewhule-led House did not exist.

The judge said the government is bound to obey all laws passed by the Assembly, as the members are still part of the PDP and their names are still in the PDP’s membership register as provided by the party.

He further posited that the state government is bound by the laws made by the Assembly, as they are still members of the PDP and haven’t lost their seats.

The government of Gov. Similanayi Fubara has yet to react.

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Dominic Ojielo
Dominic Ojielohttps://joliba.com.ng
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