Federal high court in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital, yesterday declared vacant the seat of a lawmaker who defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The lawmaker, Idongesit Ituen represents Itu state constituency in the State House of Assembly.
The suit was filed by Mr Ituen in September this year to prevent the speaker of the House of Assembly, Onofiok Luke, from declaring his seat vacant.
Apart from the speaker, other defendants in the suit were the PDP, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and the commissioner of Police, Akwa Ibom State.
The speaker had filed a counterclaim, seeking for “a declaration that having defected from the Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress before the expiration of the tenure of four years for which he was elected to serve, Hon. Idongesit Ntuen has therefore lost his seat as a lawmaker in the State House of Assembly.
“An order of court directing Hon Idongesit Ituen to vacate the Itu State Constituency seat in the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly with immediate effect.
“An order of court restraining the Speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly or any other person acting on his behalf (including the staff of the House of Assembly) from further recognising Hon. Idongesit Ituen as a member of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly.
“An order of court directing the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to immediately conduct a by-election to fill the vacant seat of Itu state constituency in the state House of Assembly.’’
The court presided over by Justice F.O. Riman dismissed the main suit and granted all the reliefs in the counterclaims.
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