Dogara to appeal sack from National Assembly
Former Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has directed his lawyers to appeal yesterday’s judgment of the Federal High Court, which sacked him from the green chamber over his defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to All Progressives Congress (APC).
Dogara’s counsel, J.J. Usman, stated that he had been instructed by his client to appeal against the judgment with the immediate effect.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) said: “The judgment has just been delivered and we have briefed our client right from the court and he has expressed dissatisfaction over the judgment and has instructed us to file an appeal immediately, which we shall do on Monday.
“The decision of the court that there is evidence of defection to APC is not substantiated by any shred of evidence in the court’s record. We are proceeding to the Court of Appeal immediately.”
The court ordered Dogara to vacate his seat as member representing Dass, Tafawa Balewa and Bogoro Federal Constituency of Bauchi State.
Justice Donatus Okorowo, in a judgment, declared that having defected from PDP to APC, Dogara is no longer qualified to occupy the seat by virtue of Section 68(1)(g) of the constitution.
He aligned with the argument of the PDP (plaintiff) that by defecting from the party that sponsored him to the 9th National Assembly before the expiration of his tenure, Dogara ought to vacate the seat as he’s no longer qualified to partake in the activities of the lower house.
The judge, who held that the action of the lawmaker was prohibited by law, agreed that the aim of Section 68(1)(g) was to check political prostitution among the legislators.
“The judgment is, therefore, given in favour of the plaintiffs. I hereby grant the reliefs sought by the plaintiffs,” he declared.
PDP and one of its members in Bauchi had, in a suit, FHC/ABJ/CS/1060/20, sued Dogara, House of Representatives Speaker, Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and APC as 1st to 4th defendants respectively.
Okoronkwo had, earlier in another judgment, dismissed the suit, FHC/ABJ/CS/883/30, filed by Incorporated Trustees of United Global Resources for Peace Organisation against Dogara and five others on the grounds that the group lacked locus standi to institute the matter.
Judgments in the two separate suits filed against Dogara were stalled due to the court’s Easter vacation, from April 8 to 25.
Dogara had, on July 24, 2020, defected from the PDP to the APC when he submitted a resignation letter to the chairman of the Bogoro ‘C’ Ward in the state.
The plaintiffs, through their counsel, Jubrin Jubrin, said by virtue of Section 68(1)(g) of the Constitution, Dogara, by defecting from the party that sponsored him to the 9th National Assembly before the expiration of his tenure, ought to vacate the seat as he was no longer qualified to partake in the activities of the lower house.
Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the same court had, on March 21, ordered 20 lawmakers from Cross River to vacate their seats following their defection from the PDP to APC.