Saraki, Dogara Survive as Court Strikes out Suit Challenging Defection

A federal high court in Abuja has struck out a suit seeking to declare vacant, the seats of Senate President Bukola Saraki, House Speaker Yakubu Dogara, and 52 other federal lawmakers who defected from their political parties in the buildup to the general election.

Delivering judgment on Friday, Okon Abang, the presiding judge, held that the Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP), the body which instituted the suit, lacked the legal right to institute it.

Justice Abang held that LEDAP’s status as a registered corporate body under the Company and Allied Matters Act was not sufficient to confer the right to institute the action on behalf of the public.

“Plaintiff has not placed anything before the court to show that any of the constituents who voted the lawmakers into office are even aware of the suit,” he said.

Abang held that the plaintiff’s failure to join the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) which sponsored the elections of the defector legislators, was fatal to the suit.

Saraki and Dogara had defected from the APC to PDP in a sweeping move that saw 14 other senators and 32 reps jettison the ruling party last year.

The APC had severally called for the leaders of both chambers to vacate their seats following the defection.

 

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