A Federal High Court in Abuja has fixed March 23, 2022 for the judgment in a suit challenging the defection of the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, from the Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress.
Dogara who is currently representing Bogoro/Dass/Tafawa Balewa Federal Constituency of Bauchi state in House of Representatives had on July 24, 2020 defected to the ruling APC citing anomalies in the PDP leadership, particularly in his state, Bauchi.
A non-governmental organisation, United Global Resolve for Peace Organisation who is also the plaintiff had in a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/883/2020, prayed the court to declare vacant the seat of the Dogara at the House of the Representatives, and order the Independent National Electoral Commission to conduct a bye-election to fill the vacant seat.
At the resumed hearing of the case on Monday before Justice D.U. Okorowo, counsel to the Plaintiff, Michael Okejimi, sought the Court’s interpretation of Sections 68(1)(g), 221 and 65(2)(b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) vis-à-vis whether the former Speaker who is a public officer has not automatically vacated his seat as a member of the House of Representatives, when he defected from PDP which sponsored his election into the legislature.
He told the court that all processes in the matter had been filed and exchanged among the parties involved in the matter.
He also notified the court on the notice of preliminary Objection filed by the 1st Defendant
challenging the jurisdiction of the court to determine the suit based on the provisions of Section 68(2) of the Constitution, which the plaintiff has responded to by filing a written address in opposition.
After the parties had adopted their processes in respect of the substantive suit and other applications, the presiding judge adjourned the matter to March 23, 2022 for judgment.
Defendants in the suit are; the former Speaker (1), Peoples Democratic Party (2), All Progressive Congress (3), Speaker of the House of Representatives (4), Independent National Electoral Commission (5); and the Attorney-General of the Federation (6).