APC House Caucus: Court Did Not Ask Defecting Members To Vacate Seats
SAN FRANCISCO, April 01, (THEWILL) - The All Progressives Congress (APC) Caucus in the House of Representatives has faulted Monday's ruling by Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court Abuja on the suit instituted by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against the move by the 37 defecting members of the House who defected from the PDP to APC to effect a change of leadership in the House.
Maintaining that the court did not order the defecting lawmakers to vacate their seat as being erroneously insinuated, the APC Caucus said the 37 defecting lawmakers have appealed the ruling of the court, hoping to get justice soon.
In a statement issued on Tuesday by the Minority Whip, Hon Samson R-Osagie, titled, Justice Adeniyi Ademola's Ruling On 37 APC Representatives: At Last Our Fears Have Been Confirmed, the APC Caucus said : 'Yesterday, a Federal High Court Presided over by Justice Adeniyi Ademola handed down a ruling in which he restrained 37 APC members who joined our great party on December 18, 2013 from effecting the change of leadership in the House of Representatives thereby granting the prayers of the plaintiffs - the PDP in the suit.
'For us in the APC, we were not surprised because in the course of the proceedings, the same judge had earlier issued a preservative order as soon as the arguments against his jurisdiction in the case was taken.
This was our first apprehension of the commencement of the case.
'Our fears were further confirmed when the judge after granting the reliefs sought in the suit went ahead to render an opinion on issues that were not before him nor solicited by the plaintiffs.
'Consequently, a section of the media and indeed the public have been misled by the court ruling into believing that the said judgment has effectively terminated the tenure of office of the affected members.
This is not only untrue, but also a mere obiter dicta expressed by a judge who veered off the course of the case before him in order to do the bidding of the ruling party.
At best the judgment has turned law on its head and cannot stand.
'Our colleagues have taken steps to appeal the judgment and we are confident that justice will prevail.
'In the meantime, we want to assure members of the public that there is no court judgment before the House, directing any member of the APC to vacate his or her seat.
'In any event, section 68 (2) of the 1999 Constitution makes it clear that satisfactory evidence must be presented to the House before any of the provision of S.
68 (1) can become applicable.
'At the moment, the APC in the House remains strong and focus on the need to provide necessary checks and balances to the rudderlessness of the ship of State as being piloted by the ruling party in this country today.
'At a time when this government is unable to explain to Nigerians the where about of huge missing funds; at a time when profligacy among Ministers of this government has reached its crescendo; at a time when scores and thousands have been sent to their untimely death under a scheme purported to be a recruitment sham; at a time when government assets in the power sector have been sold out with Nigerians experiencing more darkness than light; at a time when insecurity and insurgency has almost defied government emergency rule and at a time when mis-governance has taken centre stage while Nigerians has continued to wallow in abject penury, the PDP government has continued to run the country like the private fiefdom of those holding the reins of power.
'Nigerians, we know cannot succumb to the shenanigans of the ruling party that has plundered this nation for 15 years.
'The House of Representatives remains the bastion of hope of the traumatised and pauperised Nigerians and we shall not give in to the attempt of some of our PDP colleagues in collusion with a certain judge to turn facts and law on its head to achieve some sinister ends.
'Finally for the avoidance of doubt, let me state unequivocally on behalf our members that the import of yesterday ruling was that our 37 members cannot participate in the removal of Principal Officers of the House nothing more, nothing less.
'Every other pronouncements by the judge as to the status of our 37 members of the House were mere opinion.
In any event, this judgment was given in vain and in ignorance of the House rules which governs the appointment of party leaders in the parliament.
It is also an attempt by the court to meddle in the internal affairs of the parliament.
'This certainly is not the import of the doctrine of judicial review.
As we speak our colleagues have appealed the vexatious ruling and we hope to get justice soon.
We believe the House of Representatives will take due notice of the appeal in this case.