The senate president, Mr. Ahmad Lawan, on Tuesday swore in the former governor of Bayelsa State, Mr. Seriake Dickson as the representative of Bayelsa West senatorial district in the national assembly.
The others sworn in were Mr. Cleopas Moses (PDP – Bayelsa Central); Prof Nora Daduut (APC – Plateau South); and Michael Adetokunbo Abiru (APC – Lagos East).
Two of the newly sworn in lawmakers, Daduut and Abiru replace the late senators Bayo Osinowo; and Ignatius Longjan who represented Lagos East and Plateau South senatorial zones before their death in 2019 and 2020, respectively.
Meanwhile, two members of the House of Representatives, Messrs Datti Yako, from Kano State and Danjuma Shittu from Taraba State, Tuesday defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
While Yako left the PDP, Shittu left the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA).
In their letters read by the speaker of the House, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, the lawmakers cited leadership crises and factionalisation in the PDP and APGA in their respective states as reasons for their defection
Reacting, the minority leader, Mr. Ndudi Elumelu urged Gbajabiamila to declare their seats vacant, citing relevant sections of the constitution and the fact that he was not aware of any crisis in the party.
Corroborating Elumelu’s position, the deputy minority leader, Mr. Toby Okechukwu stated that there was no crisis in the proselytes’ parties, urging the speaker to put a stop to illegal defections.
“There is a subsisting Supreme Court judgement which states that it was only a crisis at the national level of parties that could prompt a defection of any lawmaker,” said Okechukwu.
However, Gbajabiamila dismissed the protests by the opposition leaders and ruled in favour of the defecting lawmakers.