Defections: Let’s decide whether or not to obey laws, Dep Minority Leader tells Gbajabiamila

Deputy Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon. Toby Okechukwu, Tuesday, told Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila and his colleagues to chose between obeying the laws of the land or breaking them.

Okechukwu spoke on the heels of the defection of two members of the House, Hons Idagbo Ochiglegor and Michael Etaba from the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.

While Ochiglegor represents Obanliku/Obudu/Bekwarra federal constituency, Etaba also represents Obubra Federal Constituency  both of whom are from Cross River state.

It will be recalled that the Governor of the State, Professor Ben Ayade recently jilted the PDP for the APC.

In their separate letters read at Tuesday plenary by the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila the lawmakers informed that their exit was premised on a crisis in the PDP.

At this juncture, Okechukwu raised a point of constitutional order drawing the attention of the House to section 68 (g) of the 1999 constitution (as amended) which requires defecting lawmakers to vacate their seats.

He ruled out any form of crisis in the party, submitting that the law should apply.

The deputy minority leader regretted that the constitution was being violated by lawmakers who still clung onto their seats, submitting that the House should decide whether to obey the laws or break it.

Responding to the point of order, Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila noted the proviso in the section, stressing that for two persons to defect at the same time was a clear indication of a crisis in the party.

He however said that it was only the court that can decide on the issue of whether there was a crisis or not.