A federal high court in Abuja has struck out a suit seeking to declare vacant, the seats of Senate President Bukola Saraki and Yakubu Dogara, speaker of house of representatives, and 52 other federal lawmakers who defected from their political parties in the buildup to the general election.
Delivering judgment on Friday, Okon Abang, the presiding judge, held that the Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP), the body which instituted the suit, lacked the legal right to institute it.
He held that LEDAP’s status as a registered corporate body under the Company and Allied Matters Act was not sufficient to confer the right to institute the action on behalf of the public.
“The plaintiff that instituted this case is not a political party that sponsored the election of the lawmakers,” Abang ruled.
“Also the plaintiff is not Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) that regulates the activities of political parties and monitor elections. The plaintiff is not a registered voter in Nigeria.
“They are not members of the national assembly. None of the political party that sponsored the lawmakers is a party in this case.
“They, therefore, lack the capacity, legal power to institute the case. The plaintiff’s case is incompetent and thereby struck out.”
In July 2018, not less than 14 senators defected from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), while 37 members of the house of representatives also announced their defection the ruling party.