The Federal High Court in Abuja has declared the defection from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), by the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara and 51 others as illegal.
The Judge, Justice Okon Abang however, today, Friday, in his judgment struck out the suit filed by the Legal Defence and Assistant Project (LEDAP) on the ground that the challengers lacked locus standi to file the suit.
The Judge admitted that though the plaintiff has a good case and the good intention of promoting good political behavior and rule of law, but that it has no locus standi to sue.
According to him, LEDAP which instituted the suit is not a political party that sponsored the defected lawmakers, or the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) which is conferred with the powers to monitor political parties.
He added that the plaintiff is neither a constituent of the defectors nor a registered voter that voted for them, adding that LEDAP had not put anything before the court to show that the voters urged them to sue on their behalf and thereafter, the case was struck out.
Justice Abang however admitted that the defection of the 53 members of the National Assembly was unlawful based on the judgment of the Supreme Court, which had laid down reasons that would allow for defection.
According to him, the lawmakers did not meet that requirement, saying that there was no division of the kind recognized by the Supreme Court to allow the defendant – that is, the Senate President and 52 others retain their seat with the exception of the third defendant, Senator Godswill Akpabio.
He said that this is so because in his view, at the time they claimed there was division in their parties which resulted in them decamping, those political parties were still functioning as political parties, hence, the division was not of the kind that will enable them decamp.