Akwa Ibom Assembly declares two lawmakers’ seats vacant over defection

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The Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly on Tuesday during its plenary declared the seats of Esit Eket and Ikono State Constituencies vacant following the members defection from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP to the Young Progressive Party, YPP.

The seats were occupied by Rt. Hon. Usoro Akpanusoh, representing Esit Eket and Hon. Asuquo Nana Udo, representing Ikono state constituencies respectively.

The Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey, while announcing the vacancy, said the house drew its strength from Section 109 (1) (a-g) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.

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The Speaker said the section stipulates that, “Being a person whose election to the House of Assembly was sponsored by a political party, he becomes a member of another political party before the expiration of the period for which that House was elected. Provided that his membership of the latter political party is not as a result of a division in the political party of which he was previously a member or of a merger of two or more political parties or factions by one of which he was previously sponsored.”

The Speaker, however, directed the Clerk of the House, Mrs Mandu Umoren, to communicate the order of the House to the appropriate authorities.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the House Committee on Information, Barr. Aniefiok Dennis (Etinan), who addressed the press shortly after the plenary, said “the Speaker relied on the provisions of Section 109(1)(g) in declaring the seats vacant. He acted in compliance with extant law, since the affected Honourable Members abandoned their seats, given to them by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).”

The House was later adjourned to Thursday, October 13, 2022, by 10am.

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