The Peoples Democratic Party in Bauchi State has described the court judgment which declared the seat of a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, vacant for defecting from the party as victory for democracy.
The Federal High Court in Abuja, on Friday, declared the seat of Dogara, who represents the Dass/Tafawa Balewa/Bogoro Federal Constituency in Bauchi State vacant for defecting from the PDP to the All Progressives Congress.
In a swift reaction to the judgement, Dogara, through his counsel, J.J. Usman, said he would approach the Court of Appeal on Monday to appeal the judgement.
In a statement signed by the state PDP chairman, Hamza Koshe-Akuyam, and representative of the PDP legal team, Jibrin S. Jibrin, which was made available to journalists on Sunday, the party said the judgement had given the party an opportunity to reclaim its seat through a bye-election which would be conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
The statement said that the judgment would serve as a deterrent to politicians who take the electorate for granted by winning elections and thereafter dumping the party upon whose platform they became victorious.
It read in part, “It is a matter of public knowledge that in a judgement delivered on Friday, the Federal High Court in Abuja, presided by Justice F.D. Okorowo, upheld the argument of the plaintiffs and granted what we sought, notable among is the declaration of the seat of Yakubu Dogara, a member of the House of Representatives representing the Dass/Tafawa Balewa/Bogoro Federal Constituency in Bauchi State, vacant, thereby presenting a good opportunity to the PDP to reclaim its seat through a bye-election to be conducted by INEC.
“For us, the plaintiffs and their legal team that handled this matter that was led by Chief Chris Uche (SAN), the most important thing about the judgement is that it is a victory for democracy and the rule of law.
“As a matter of fact, the court, through His Lordship’s sound reasoning, well-considered analysis, findings and conclusions, represents the correct position of the law as regards the facts and circumstances of Dogara’s action that constituted the suit in reference in the context of the clear provisions of Section 68 (1). (g) Of the 1999 Constitution.
“It is thus our firm belief that justice has been well served. It is equally a fact that the judgement, which is coming on the heels of similar decisions of the Court as delivered by their Lordships’ Taiwo Taiwo and Inyang Ekwo, has further espoused and developed the jurisprudential horizon on the issue in Nigeria.
“More importantly, the thoroughness, clarity and consistency with which the Court has been handing down its verdict on cases bothering on cross carpeting or defection could not have come at a more appropriate time than now when activities for the 2023 general elections are picking up.
“This is because the judgement has reiterated the need for political actors, especially the aspirants’ need to appreciate the reason to be principled on some of these issues, responsible and not just to be taking the platforms of political parties as mere tools of winning elections.”