A Federal High Court in Abuja, on Friday, April 22, 2022, ordered former Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, to vacate his seat as the member representing Dass, Tafawa Balewa and Bogoro Federal Constituency of Bauchi State.
Delivering judgment, Justice Donatus Okorowo, declared that having defected from Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to All Progressives Congress (APC), Dogara was no longer qualified to occupy the seat by virtue of Section 68(1)(g) of the constitution.
Justice Okorowo aligned with the argument of the PDP that by defecting from the party that sponsored him to the ninth National Assembly before the expiration of his tenure, Dogara ought to vacate the seat as he was no longer qualified to partake in the activities of the lower house.
The judge, who held that the action of the lawmaker is prohibited by law, agreed that the aim of Section 68(1)(g) was to check political prostitution among the legislators.
“The judgment is therefore given in favour of the plaintiffs. I hereby grant the reliefs sought by the plaintiffs,” he declared.
The PDP and one of its members in Bauchi State had, in a suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1060/20, sued Dogara, the speaker of the House of Representatives.
Other defendants are the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the APC as 1st to 4th defendants respectively.
In a related development, Okorowo had, earlier in a judgment, dismissed the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/883/30 and filed by Incorporated Trustees of United Global Resources for Peace Organisation against Dogara and five others on the grounds that the group lacked locus standi to institute the matter.