Defection: Akpabio denies knowledge of impeachment plot against Saraki

By Ikechukwu Okaforadi and Musa Adamu

Twenty four hours after report on possible declaration of his seat vacant in the senate for defecting from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Godswill Akpabio declared that he and the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, are as guilty as others as far as recent defections of lawmakers from one political party to the other are concerned.
One of the national dailies had in its lead story on Sunday reported that plans were on for declaration of Akpabio’s seat vacant by the Senate President as Senator representing Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District in line with provisions of section 68 (1g) of the 1999 constitution.
The section specifies that a lawmaker can only defect from the party upon which he won election into the Parliament to another party if there is a division in the party down the line , a provision Akpabio in the report did not meet before defecting from PDP to APC last week.
But reacting to the report yesterday in a chat with journalists, Akpabio said the move as far as he was concerned was a rumour and even if it is true, other senators who defected from APC to PDP are also guilty of the same offence because APC is also a united party without any division .
He said that he is not perturbed at all, about the report and the rumoured move since all defectors are involved.

“As you are looking at me, do I look perturbed? I have not heard the report. Because the reason why I think that is a rumour is that there is, at the moment, no division in the APC. The APC is one family. If you hear about R-APC that was not really a political party that was not a division and have even been consumed in what they call Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP).
“So, there is no division in APC as they are saying there is no division in PDP, and so, any defection from APC to PDP, should also attract the treatment of declaration of seats vacant “, he said.
He however dismissed the alleged move being made by the leadership of the APC to impeach Saraki through senators on the platform of the party.
According to him, such a move, plan or plot is not known to him as he has never been briefed on it by anybody.
“I just came in from Ikot-Ekpene, where I decided with my people to join APC. I am yet to be briefed on any of those items. I have not heard anything of such from anybody.
“Infact , what I am hearing now is what you are telling me. But why don’t you wait for me to formally talk to you? I believe that when the National Assembly resumes you will hear from me directly. So, exercise patience”.
The former minority leader of the Senate was however evasive when asked whether the Senate will have an emergency session today or tomorrow as earlier hinted last week by leadership of both chambers.
“You are the one telling me now. No official information on that yet”, he said.

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