The past Senate minority leader, Godswill Akpabio has asked a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to suspend its judgement on an application seeking to vacate seats of 54 federal lawamkers who defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Akpabio also prayed the court to allow him to respond to the suit that was filed by an advocacy group under the aegis of Legal Defence and Assistance Project, LEDAP which has applied for the refund of salaries and allowances of lawmakers who defected after their election into the National Assembly.
In a swift move, the Senator, few days to the judgement date for the suit, filed an application insisting that he was not consulted before any lawyer was appointed to appear for the matter.
The Senator said he was not informed by the clerk of the National Assembly or even personally served with the said suit.
Informing the court that he only read about the case in the Newspapers, Akpabio said, the suit was not a class action and he was at liberty to use a counsel of his choice and to personally defend himself.
In his response, the judge over the matter, Justice Okon Abang, said he was minded to accede to Akpabio’s request.
Justice Abang noting that his decision was based on the provisions of Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, said since the matter was not a class action, Akpabio’s right to fair hearing would be affected if the matter was decided without his input.
Furthermore, Akpabio argued that he never defected from the PDP to APC.
The Senator said he only moved into the APC after the PDP “was flooded”.
In his reaction, Justice Okon Abang ruled that the matter be adjourned for Tuesday, May 14, to enable the parties involved exchange their addresses.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that 15 senators, including Dino Melaye and Abdul-Azeez Nyako, announced their defection at the Senate plenary on Tuesday, July 24.
The list containing the senators’ names was handed over to Bukola Saraki, the president of the Senate, who managed to get to the plenary after a reported blockade at his residence by Police officers.