The Niger State House of Assembly has declared the seats of Bashir Abdullahi Isa Lokogoma and Nazeer Abdullahi vacant for defecting to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

According to the Speaker of the Niger state House of Assembly, Adamu Usman, the action of the state Assembly was based on the letter written to it by the state chapter of the Peoples Democratice Party (PDP) which confirmed that the two members defected to the APC.

The session in the House was rowdy as the two affected members were not allowed to speak, and they were later ordered out by the Speaker and walked out by the Sergeant-at-Arms.

A letter written to the state Assembly by the state PDP and made available to journalists confirmed the defection of the two legislators asking the House to follow the constitution in declaring their seats vacant.

The letter read: “Information reaching the state secretariat of the party indicates that two members of the state Assembly: (Bashir Abdullahi Isa Lokogoma and Nazeer Abdullahi) have defected and abandoned the PDP, which provided them the platform for their election and joined APC. The state working committee (SWC) of the party has investigated and found the information to be true.

“The SWC is of the firm view that the action of the said members (was) taken without recourse to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 and therefore uses this medium to call on the Speaker to invoke the relevant provision of the 1999 constitution, which empowers him to remedy this kind of brazen violation of our constitution.”

The affected lawmakers described the action of the Assembly as a clear case of impunity.

Meanwhile, the PDP in Niger state applauded the decision of the House in declaring the seats of the two defected legislators vacant.

In a statement signed by the state PDP Chairman, Umaru Musa Maali, the party described the action of the state Assembly as noble and a move towards bringing moral sanity to the polity of the state, adding that it would serve as a means to stop the tide of defections among Nigerian politicians.

“The decision of the Niger State House of Assembly to declare the seats of two members of the House who defected to the APC vacant will encourage discipline and engender moral virtues among politicians. I am very pleased with what has happened. It will help prevent the shameful trend of decamping among politicians.

“We must understand that once politicians realise they will lose their seats, they will not decamp anymore. It is indeed good for democracy as Niger State House of Assembly has set the record straight on the constitutionality of decamping which stipulates that seat should be declared vacant,” the statement read.

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