Rivers: Group Rejects Court Ruling On Defection Case

The Pro-Democracy Coalition of Nigeria (PDCN) has rejected the Court of Appeal’s ruling on the defection case involving 25 members of the Rivers State House of Assembly, loyal to Minister Nyesom Wike.

In a statement signed by its President, Comrade Jack Thomas, the group described the court’s decision to nullify the expulsion of the lawmakers as a “judgment” that disregarded established legal precedent.

The Appeal Court also ruled that all activities executed by Hon.Oko Jumbo, Speaker loyal to Governor Siminalayi Fubara are null and void.

“We are absolutely discontented and dismayed by the judgment of the Appellate Court,” he said. “The ruling totally disregarded established legal precedent and has further exposed the failings of the Appellate Court in preserving constitutional democracy and the rights of citizens.”

“In Atiku Abubakar vs Attorney General of the Federation (2007), the Supreme Court held that defection from one party to another is only justified in cases of division, factionalisation, or fragmentation within the original party.

“Similarly, in Adetunde and the Labour Party, the Supreme Court ruled that a legislator cannot decamp and remain a member of a legislative house without showing division in their party.”

The group further described the ruling as “a charade” and called on the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, to investigate the reasons behind the transfer of cases and ensure that the Supreme Court corrects the judgment.

“This is a sad day for democracy and the rule of law in Nigeria,” Thomas added. “Nigerians must hold the courts responsible for the rise of tyranny in Nigeria.

“The courts must deliver judgments that are sound and consistent with the law to preserve our democracy.”

The PDCN emphasiaed the need for judgments that are sound and consistent with the law to preserve Nigeria’s democracy, adding that Nigeria must not go back to the era of black market judgments.

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