Falana Regards Mass Defection Of Lawmakers As Illegal


Human rights activist and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Femi Falana, believes the political movement of lawmakers in the National Assembly is illegal.

Mr Falana said this while analysing the matter from a legal angle during an exclusive interview with Channels Television on the sidelines of an event in Lagos.

“You cannot leave the party that sponsored your election for another party without resigning so that you can ask for a fresh mandate from the electorate,” he said on Thursday.

“That has not happened in this case. What the law is saying is that before you can have a division that will necessitate or legalise your defection, the division in your party must be total.”

The senior advocate noted that defectors were supposed to lose their seats once they dump the party on which platform they were elected in the first place.

He noted that the emergence of the Reformed All Progressives Congress (R-APC) was not enough reason for the defectors to dump the ruling party for others.

Falana, however, said if the crisis in the party was similar to the one witnessed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) after the 2015 general elections, such defection would have been justified by the law.

He recalled that Senators Ali Modu Sheriff and Ahmed Makarfi had led factions of the opposition party which produced two sets of national officers of the PDP.

Falana Describes Mass Defection Of Lawmakers As Illegal
Senior Advocate of Nigeria and human rights activist, Mr Femi Falana (file)

The lawyer insisted that a defection cannot be based on a division announcing a press conference, saying the process of leaving a party for another was more than that.

He added, “It cannot be a figment of imagination; it cannot be an artificial fictionalisation. In this instance, I have not recognised a division envisaged by the constitution.”

The rights activist made the comments two days after the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, defected from the APC to the PDP.

In a statement personally signed by him on Tuesday, Saraki explained that he had decided to leave the APC after extensive consultations and efforts to ensure a harmonious existence in the party proved futile.

Earlier, 14 senators and dozens of lawmakers at the House of Representatives announced their departure from the ruling party.


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