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Defection: ‘Declare Saraki, Akpabio’s Seats Vacant’



Senator Saraki and Akpabio

A Human Rights lawyer, Mr. Frank Tietie, has advised that the seat of the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, be declared vacant since he had defected to another party.

Tietie, who made the call on Monday in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria about the situation of the country also called on the Senate to do same for Sen. Godswill Akpabio, the former Senate Minority Leader.

The lawyer said that the declaration became necessary because of the provision of Section 68 (1) (G) of the 1999 constitution as amended.

According to him, the section provides that the seat of a Senator or a member of the House of Representatives shall be declared vacant if he becomes a member of any other political party before the expiration of the period for which he is elected.


He, however, said that there could only be an exception to the above Section if “the existence of a division in the political party of which the senator or representative was previously a member.

“The existence of a merger of two or more political parties or factions by one of the parties of which the Senator or representative is previously a member.’’

Tietie said that when none of the conditions above had been fulfilled, all such Senators and members of the National Assembly who have defected from the party that originally sponsored their elections must have their seats declared vacant.


He added that INEC must proceed immediately to conduct bye-elections to replace the affected senators and members of the House of Representatives.