4 February 2021 By Victoria Abah
The Federal High Court in Abuja, has slated March 9 for hearing on a suit filed by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to declare the seat of the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, vacant following his defection to the All Progressives Congress, APC.
Justice Okon Abang okayed the matter for hearing after he ordered the service of hearing notice on the current Speaker of the House of Reps, Femi Gbajabiamila.
At the resumed proceedings in the matter on Thursday, Counsel to the Plaintiffs, Chief Chris Uche, told the court that the Speaker, Gbajabiamila, declined to accept service of the suit.
The court however directed that fresh hearing notice be served on the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Addressing newsmen outside the court room, Counsel to the plaintiffs, Chief Chris Uche expressed worry over the the disregard for the rule of law by the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Speaking on behalf of the Speaker, the Defense counsel Johnson Usman said the speaker was yet to be served.
Dogara was in 2019, re-elected on the platform of the PDP to represent Dass, Tafawa Balewa and Bogoro Federal Constituency of Bauchi State at the National Assembly.
He however defected to the APC on July 24, 2020, after he submitted a resignation letter to the Chairman of the Bogoro ‘C’ Ward in the state.
Dissatisfied with his action, the PDP and its Bauchi State Chairman, Hamza Akuyam, approached the court to declare his seat vacant.
The Plaintiffs further contended that considering the facts and circumstances of the case, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Gbajabiamila, is under legal obligation to declare Dogara’s seat vacant and allow the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to conduct a bye-election for his replacement.