Controversy trails EBHA APC lawmakers move to declare PDP members seats vacant

By Chinwe Imo-Eze Onwosi

Controversy is currently trailing the recent move by members of Ebonyi State House of Assembly, on Friday, as fifteen (15) lawmakers under the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, declared the seats of two members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Oliver Osi and Mrs. Lilian Ngozi Eziulo vacant.

Oliver Osi who is representing Ivo Constituency while Mrs. Ngozi Eziulo representing Afikpo North East Constituency in the state House of Assembly came under fire after they refused to join the APC despite several efforts made by the house to coerce them.

Barely 3-days after the The Assembly announced the duo’s defection from the Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress, members of the assembly took the decision to declare their seats vacant during a plenary that took place at the Legislative Chamber, Nkaliki and presided over by the Deputy Speaker, Hon Kingsley Ogbonaya Ikoro.

The Deputy Speaker, citing section 306 sub section 2 &7 of 1999 Nigerian Constitution as amended, said that the seats of the two lawmakers were declared vacant following an allegation that the House forged their defecation letters from PDP to APC.

Responding, Leader of the House, Victor Uzoma Chukwu, the Deputy leader Chief Onu Nwonye and member representing Onicha West Constituency, Hon Chukwuma Igwe, however, condemned the action of the embattled lawmakers whose seats were declared vacant and vowed that the law must take its cause.

Briefing journalists shortly after the plenary, Ikoro called on the youths of the state to be calm and not to allow themselves to be used to cause violence as the law would be invoked on the factional Deputy Speaker, Obasi Odefa for his actions against the House.

The 15 lawmakers, however, affirmed their loyalty to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, led by Governor David Umahi and leadership of Ebonyi State House of Assembly led by Chief Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru.

In a swift reaction, the affected lawmakers, who spoke through Oliva Osi, said it’s only a court with competent jurisdiction that can declare their seats vacant and not members of the house.

He said, “The house can’t declare my seat vacant. We are lawmakers and not breakers. It’s only a court of competent jurisdiction that can declare my seat vacant or my constituents, by way of recall, can do that and not members of the house.

“My lawyers are already putting things together to go to court because that injustice can not stand,” they stated

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