Analysis: Have The 26 Rivers Lawmakers Who Defected To APC Truly Lost Their Seats?


The Political Crisis rocking Rivers State trended all over the Nigerian Media Space on Wednesday when 27 State House of Assembly members defected from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP to the All Progressives Congress, APC.

It’s no longer news that Former Rivers Governor and Current Minister of the FCT, Nyesom Wike is in a bitter Power Tussle with his successor and current Governor, Siminalayi Fubara. Out of 32 House of Assembly members, 27 are loyal to Wike led by Martins Amaewhule while only 5 are loyal to Fubara led by Edison Ehie.


Shortly after the mass defection to the ruling Party, Fubara’s loyalists held a plenary in the Rivers state Government House headed by Ehie. At the session, Fubara submitted the 2024 Budget for the state and shortly after, Ehie declared the seats of the 27 defectors Vacant. A move that has elicited multiple reactions from Nigerians.

Analyzing the development, Legal Practioner, Emmanuel Anele disclosed that Ehie lacks the powers to make such a declaration. According to him, the action does not adhere to the stipulations of Section 109, Subsection 1 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.

“These members have not lost their seats unless the court now says that having defected from PDP to APC and the reasons you cited could not avail you of that defection, you hereby lose your seat.”

“It’s on that ground that the speaker will now say, ‘In view of the judgement before me against the 27 lawmakers that defected, their seats have been declared vacant’,” Anele said.

“That section did not automatically empower the speaker to declare any seat vacant, unless the fact as to the issue of defection is determined by the court.”

“The provision of the section states that if there is a defection from party A to party B and that defection has not caused a division in the party that brought the member to power, then you can declare his seat vacant.”

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