A Federal High Court sitting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom Dtate capital has finally ruled on the case of the five lawmakers in the State House of Assembly whose seats were declared vacant by the House following their defection to the All Progressives Congress, APC.
Delivering his judgment on Monday, Justice Fatun Riman, held that the seats of the sacked lawmakers were vacant by reason of their defection from the PDP without lawful justification.
The judgedment, however, brought to an end the case, which was instituted August 2018.
It could be recalled that as soon as the State House of Assembly declared vacant the seats of lawmakers representing Essien Udim, Mkpat Enin, Itu, Ikono and Etim Ekpo/Ika, the five lawmakers, not only dragged the House and the Speaker to court but invaded the plenary, and dramatically declared every other member suspended and elected one of them, former member representing Essien Udim, Mr Nse Ntuen as Speaker.
Reacting to the judgment of the Federal High Court, therefore, the PDP at a press conference in Uyo on Monday, applauded the court for allowing justice prevail.
The party ,which spoke through its Publicity Secretary, Comrade Ini Ememobong, also commended the Speaker, Barr Onofiok Luke for maintaining a calm and peaceful disposition during the crisis.
The statement partly reads, “All five cases instituted by these sacked lawmakers were premised on several falsehoods; ranging from the claim that the coalition entered into by the PDP with other parties was a merger, to the fact that the sacked lawmakers, like their master, were summarily expelled from the party.
“It can be recalled that these same lawmakers, with the active backing of their Warsaw general and party, created a house of comedy, wherein they claimed to have impeached the legitimate Speaker of the House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Onofiok Luke and declared one Nse Ntuen as the speaker. This illegality which was premised on distasteful lies was vehemently supported by the State Chairman of the APC, who validated the said impeachment and recognized the Speaker of the House of Comedy as the new Speaker of the House of Assembly. Today, like it is with all falsehood, a Daniel has come to Judgement and the truth has been revealed.
“If there is any honour left in the APC and her leaders, their reaction should be to unreservedly apologise to Akwa Ibom people and the entire world for the needless show of shame that they brazenly brought upon us and the unnecessary strain-cum-pressure on the polity. But by experience and observation, no reasonable person is expectant of such courtesy from the band of unprincipled fellows who currently lead the broom wielding movement
“Like a pack of cards placed on a mountain, all the lies were blown away by the wind of truth presented before the court by the legal team of Speaker Onofiok Luke led by Ekemini Udim Esq and the Peoples Democratic Party led by Goddy Umoh. One by one, the court resolved all the issues in the substantive suits, against the lawmakers and held that their seats were vacant by reason of their defection from the PDP without lawful justification.”
Recalling what it described as ‘the many lies of the Akwa Ibom APC, the PDP accused its opponent of preserving a long thread of transparent lies “disingenuously sewn and shamelessly hawked by this political amalgam, ranging from the mysterious bullet in Obong Nsima Ekere’s bedroom, the denial of the leaked audio conversation between the APC Governorship candidate and a militant General, to the conscious misrepresentation of an armed robbery attack on a former Governor’s aide, as a PDP sponsored assassination attempt among many other tissues of transparent lies.
“May we therefore intimate Mr. Okopido and his co-travellers that no amount of media, spiritual and even, physical attack will deter anybody from the exercise of their duties and the unending quest for truth. In all the defence put out by Mr. Okopido and his band of wailers, none has answered the pertinent question of fact which is, was Chief Godswill Akpabio expelled from the PDP?
“No amount of threats will erase this question on the minds of right thinking persons. Today the judgement of the court has answered the question of law, which is: assuming but not conceding that Sen. Godswill Akpabio was expelled, was that a legal justification to defect( what he calls movement)?”dp