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Defection: Akwa Ibom Assembly Declares Two Seats Vacant

Akwa-Ibom-Assembly
THEWILL APP ADS 2

September 21, (THEWILL) – The Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly has been declared vacant, the seats of Esit Eket and Ikono State Constituencies, following the recent defection of the respective occupants from the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, to opposition parties.

THEWILL reports that the seats were occupied by Rt. Hon. Usoro Akpanusoh and Hon. Asuquo Nana Udo respectively, who recently defected to the Young Progressive Party (YPP).

Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey, declared the two seats vacant during the plenary session on Tuesday, citing Section 109 (1) (a-g) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), which guarantees the tenure of House of Assembly Members.

According to the Section, “Being a person whose election to the House of Assembly 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.”

The Speaker directed the Clerk of the House, Mrs Mandu Umoren, to communicate the order of the House to the appropriate authorities.

Addressing newsmen shortly after Plenary, the Chairman of the House Committee on Information, Barr. Aniefiok Dennis, representing Etinan State Constituency explained that the Speaker relied on the provisions of Section 109(1)(g) in declaring the seats vacant.

“He acted in compliance with extant law, since the affected Honourable Members abandoned their seats, given to them by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).” According to Hon. Dennis.

On the issue of non-declaration of the seat of Mbo State Constituency, occupied by Chief Effiong Johnson, he recalled that Johnson had stated specifically in his defection letter dated February 8, 2022, that his defection was predicated on factionalisation of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from the National, States, Chapters and Wards, with several pending cases in court.

The House has, however, adjourned plenary to Thursday, October 13, 2022, by 10 am.