– Femi Falana said the recent defections of lawmakers is illegal
– Falana said lawmakers can’t decamp without refining so that you can ask for a fresh mandate from the electorate
Human rights activist and lawyer, Femi Falana, while reacting to the recent defection of lawmakers from All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said the defection is illegal.
Falana, who made this statement during a Channels TV programme on Friday, August 3, said the lawmakers’ defection is contrary to both the provisions of the 1999 constitution as well as previous court judgments regarding the issue.
The section 68 (1) of the 1999 constitution which talks about defections states: “A member of the senate or of the house of representatives shall vacate his seat in the house of which he is a member if – (g) being a person whose election to the house was sponsored by a political party, he becomes a member of another political party before the expiration of the period for which that House was elected; provided that his membership of the latter political party is not as a result of a division in the political party of which he was previously a member or of a merger of two or more political parties or factions by one of which he was previously sponsored.”
Falana said the ‘division’ as stated in the constitution must be total and not artificial.
He said: “The division the constitution was talking about was recently witnessed in the PDP whereby you had the Ali Modu Sheriff faction and the Makarfi faction.
“Two conventions were held almost simultaneously two sets of officers emerged down the line. So you cannot just simply
“This (the APC’s) was a division that was announced in a press conference; it goes beyond that.
“You cannot leave the party that sponsored your election for another party without refining so that you can ask for a fresh mandate from the electorate. And that has not happened in this case.”