The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Wednesday lashed out at its members who recently defected to the All Progressive Congress (APC) while quoting a part of the constitution which negates such practices while still holding elected position in the party.
In that regard, they stated that they have lost their position in the party and as such requested the apex electoral body to carry out a fresh election in the state.
According to Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP National Publicity Secretary, who spoke during a media briefing in Abuja, the attitude of members defecting while holding positions in the party is unconstitutional, hence, the defected lawmakers had lost their seats according to Nigeria's constitution.
He said, "It is settled under the 1999 Constitution (as amended), that a legislator who decamps from a party upon which he was elected a member of a legislative house automatically loses his or her membership of that house as the seat belongs to the political party upon which platform the election was won and not the individual.”
Ologbondiyan also said, "The vacation of the seat, as a direct consequence of decamping to another political party other than the party upon which one was elected to occupy a seat in the legislature, is clear and unambiguous under section 109 (1) (g) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended)." "For the avoidance of doubt, section 109 (1)(g) provides that “a member of the House of Assembly shall vacate his seat in the House if …(g) being a person whose election to the House of Assembly by a political party, he becomes a member of another political party before the expiration of the period for which that House was elected.”
He explained that the condition provided for defector is on the account 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.
"Consequent upon the above constitutional provisions, these defectors have vacated their seats, they no longer have a place in the state assembly, as there is no division or merger of any kind in the PDP at any level whatsoever," he said.
To this end, he reiterated that "The PDP is therefore left with no other option than to request the INEC to immediately commence the processes for the conduct of fresh elections into the respective state constituencies where the legislators have vacated their seats, in line with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution."