The House of Representatives has denied newspaper reports that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal and his Deputy, Emeka Ihedioha, has appealed the judgment of the Federal High Court concerning 37 members of the House that defected from PDP to APC.
The House yesterday said the two leaders and other principal officers did not appeal the judgment in their individual capacities.
Deputy Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public affairs, Rep. Victor Ogene (APGA, Anambra) told reporters at a press briefing after a closed door session, that the principal officers of the House have no personal interest in the on-going judicial process.
He appealed to the media not to introduce mischief into the process, insisted that the Speaker and his Deputy didn’t act on their own in the matter, instead, he explained that they were nominal parties in the suit by virtue of their office and the counsel was briefed by the management of the National Assembly to represent the House of Representatives as an institution.
Ogene explained the rationale behind Wednesday’s closed door as the need for legislators to talk among themselves and “nd nothing unusual.” “We talked to ourselves in order to get things clear about the defection matter that is already in court,” he said.
He added that the House decided to allow the case in court to take its full course, taking cognizance of the precedence already set in such area.
He cited an on-going court case involving the defection of Hon. Bamidele Opeyemi (Ekiti) from All Progressives Congress (APC) to Labour Party (LP).
Ogene said the in-camera session yesterday also deliberated on the growing tendency towards partisanship among members during plenary, saying the green chamber took a unanimous decision to set aside party affiliations and make laws for the good of Nigerians.
“This is our core mandate and the decision was well taken by all members present at the executive session,” Ogene said.
When asked whether Tambuwal was not under pressure to evict the 37 lawmakers, Ogene said this was not true. “There was no pressure on the Speaker to sack the defected legislators. If there was we would not have held the closed door session today (Wednesday)”, he noted.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Speaker, according to a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Oke Epia, “remains a firm and committed member of the PDP and associates himself fully with its ideals, principles, purposes and progress.”
In particular, Ihedioha, who towed the same line of argument as the House committee, said: “the appeal was primarily instituted by the 37 members who defected from PDP to APC.”