APC Reps Back Down On Leadership Take-Over
BEVERLY HILLS, CA, January 21, (THEWILL) - The All Progressives Congress (APC) members in the House of Representatives Tuesday suspended their planned take- over of the House leadership from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and instead promised to abide by an Abuja High Court's order, restraining them from making leadership change in the House pending the determination of a suit before it.
The Federal High Court had issued an order on Monday restraining any leadership change in the House, following a suit filed by the PDP praying for the court to stop APC lawmakers from effecting a leadership change in the House.
The APC members had threatened to effect a change in the leadership following the defection of some PDP members into their fold thereby claiming the majority.
But after a caucus meeting prior to the commencement of the plenary on Tuesday, the members resolved to abide by the court order until February 3, when hearing will resume on the matter.
Minority Leader of the House, Hon.
Femi Gbajabiamila (APC, Lagos), who made the position of the party known at a press briefing shortly after the plenary, said APC members "have now taken a decision to abide by the court's order for now," adding " Once we studied the order, we will vacate the judgement.
" According to Gbajabiamila, "We want Nigerians to know that what happened today has ridiculed the government of Nigeria, because it is only in this parliament in the whole world where minority party retains the position of majority and the majority party remains minority.
" Defending his action addressing the majority leader as 'minority leader' during plenary, Gbajabiamila said his referral of the deputy majority leader as the deputy minority leader at the session "was simply a statement of fact, not from me but from members of the APC ", stressing that "the slim majority of 171-172 is not actual.
" According to Gbajabiamila, "As at the last check, APC has a difference of about 20 members.
"Today the bleeding of PDP has continued and will continue this week, next week, next month and in the future.
With time, everybody will take his rightful position.
" He added that their concern is to focus on legislative works currently before them, citing the need to consider the 2014 budget estimate, "Rivers impunity", PIB, the $10.
5bn and many other issues to be addressed.
Also speaking on what happened in the court on Monday, Hon.
Ali Ahmed (APC, Kwara) said the court lacked the jurisdiction to hear the matter in the first place.
Ahmed emphasised that there is no amount of urgency that could make a court to delve into an internal matter of another arm of government, adding that their lawyers were not allowed to argue their preliminary objection in the court.
He said the lawmakers have now abided with the ruling until February 3, out of their respect for the court and stand on a non-violent course.
By Saint Mugaga, Abuja