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Defection : Court Sacks 15 Ebonyi Lawmakers

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A Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday ordered 15 members of the Ebonyi State House of Assembly, including the Speaker, who defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC) to immediately vacate their seats.

Justice Inyang Ekwo, in a judgment on Tuesday, held that their defection was unlawful and that having abandoned that political party on which platform they stood election, they could no longer occupy the seats.

Justice Ekwo declared their seats vacant and restrained them from further parading themselves in the capacity of members of the Ebonyi State House of Assembly.

The court also made an order of mandatory injunction compelling the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to accept from the PDP, a list of its candidates to replace the sacked lawmakers, as well as to issue Certificate of Return to them.

Alternately, the court directed INEC to within 90 days, conduct fresh election in Ebonyi State to fill up the vacant positions. It further ordered all the lawmakers to refund all salaries and monies they received from the period they defected to the APC.

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