Defection: Court Gives Saraki, Dogara 5 days to Respond to Suit

The Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday gave Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara and 52 other lawmakers until April 17 to file their responses to a suit asking them to vacate their seats.

An advocacy group, Legal Defence and Assistance Project, (LEDAP) dragged the lawmakers to court seeking a declaration that they were no longer members of the National Assembly having defected to other political parties before the expiration of their tenure.

The defendants comprise 17 Senators, 37 members of the House of Representatives, the Independent National Electoral Commission, the Attorney-General of the Federation and the clerks to both houses.

The trial judge, Justice Okon Abang, held that it was in the interest of justice to hear all counsel in the matter. He further ruled that the plaintiff, (LEDAP) was at liberty to reply to all the processes filed by the defendants on or before April 15 and ordered the defendants to file their reply by April 17.

He said that any party that failed to abide by the court’s directive would have itself to blame.

The judge adjourned the matter until April 18.