The Kwara State House of Assembly has declared the seat of the lawmaker representing Ojomu/Balogun Constituency in Offa Local Government Area of the state, Saheed Popoola, vacant for defecting to another party.
The Speaker of the Assembly, Yakubu Danladi-Salihu, announced this on the floor of the house during the Thursday plenary of the assembly.
Popoola, however, said that the speaker and the members were fighting the law as he had secured an injunction from the state High Court barring the assembly and the Independent National Electoral Commission from declaring his seat vacant.
He said, “The speaker and the members of the Kwara State House of Assembly have no right to declare my seat in the assembly vacant. Even INEC also has no right because a Kwara State High Court presided over by Justice Yusuf has granted an injunction that they have no power to declare my seat vacant.”
“They are all fighting with the law and the speaker and the Kwara State House of Assembly, as well as the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, have been served. They are aware of the court service”, he added.
But the speaker noted that the declaration agreed with section 109 (1)G of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended.
He pointed out that the constitution was clear as Popoola ought to have vacated his seat in Ojomu/Balogun constituency having defected from the All Progressives Congress to the Social Democratic Party.
He also explained that since there was no division in the political party of which he was previously sponsored, there was no basis for him to dump it for another party.
The Speaker submitted that the House had therefore informed the Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state of this development last Monday for further legislative action as Ojomu/Balogun Constituency was now vacant following Saheed Popoola’s defection to another party.
Popoola had, last week Tuesday, in a letter written to the assembly, said he had formally defected from the APC to the SDP.
In his defection letter captioned, ‘Notice of Defection from All Progressives Congress to Social Democratic Party,’ addressed to Salihu and read on the floor of the House, Popoola said his decision to dump the APC was in line with the provision of section 100 subsection 1 (d) of the constitution, as amended.