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Court Sacks Dogara From House Of Reps Over Defection

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A Federal High Court in Abuja has sacked Yakubu Dogara, former speaker of the House of Representatives, from the National Assembly.

The number four man in the country between 2015 and 2019 currently represents Bogoro/Dass Federal Constituency of Bauchi in the green chamber of Nigeria’s parliament.

Dogara had defected to the PDP in 2020, citing a breakdown of governance under Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State, where he hails from.

In a letter of resignation addressed to the Bogoro ‘C’ Ward Chairman of the PDP dated July 24, 2020, Dogara said though he helped install Mohammed as governor in 2019, he could ask questions about the state of government without being accused of disloyalty.

Elected speaker on the APC platform in 2015, he defected to the PDP after the National Assembly leadership fell out with President Muhammadu Buhari in the build-up to the 2019 elections.

He had worked against the reelection of the then Governor Mohammed Abubakar whom Bala Mohammed defeated in 2019.

The PDP, on whose platform, Dogara won his re-election to the House of Representatives in 2019, had filed a suit asking the court to declare his seat vacant on the grounds of his defection.

The suit was filed after a Federal High Court in Abuja sacked Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State and his deputy, Kelechi Igwe, on the account of their last year’s defection from the PDP to the APC.

The plaintiffs, through their counsel, Jubrin Jubrin, said by virtue of section 68(1)(g) of the Constitution, Dogara, by defecting from the party that sponsored him to the 9th National Assembly before the expiration of his tenure, ought to vacate the seat as he was no longer qualified to partake in the activities of the lower house.

Delivering judgment on Friday, Justice Donatus Okorowo, declared that having defected from PDP to APC, Dogara was no longer qualified to occupy the seat by virtue of Section 68(1)(g) of the constitution.

Justice Okorowo aligned with the argument of the PDP that by defecting from the party that sponsored him to the ninth National Assembly before the expiration of his tenure, Dogara ought to vacate the seat as he was no longer qualified to partake in the activities of the lower house.

The judge, who held that the action of the lawmaker is prohibited by law, agreed that the aim of Section 68(1)(g) was to check political prostitution among the legislators.

“The judgment is therefore given in favour of the plaintiffs I hereby granted the reliefs sought by the plaintiffs,” he declared.

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