Rivers Assembly crisis: CSO urges INEC to conduct fresh elections

A civil society organisation, Center For Human Rights and Accountability Network, CHRAN, has urged the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, to immediately conduct fresh elections for the 27 state constituencies of the Rivers State House of Assembly to avert what it called “constitutional infraction in the state.”

This was contained in a press statement issued on Tuesday, December 12, 2023, by CHRAN state director and secretary, respectively, Otuekong Franklyn Isong and Christopher Ekpo and made available to newsmen in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital.

The CHRAN asserted that by the defection of the 27 members of the Rivers State House of Assembly from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, the political party that sponsored them into the assembly, to the All Progressives Congress, APC, when there is no division in PDP, their seats have become vacant from the date of their defection, according to Section 109(1)(g) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended.

The group further warned that any action taken by any or all 27 lawmakers in the name of the Rivers State House of Assembly will be unlawful, unconstitutional, null and void, and of no effect, as they have lost their seats in the eyes of the law and the Constitution.

CHRAN called on Inspector-General of Police Kayode Egbetokun to take urgent measures to ensure the maintenance of law and order in Rivers State.

It also advised politicians not to heat the polity in Rivers State but to allow the government to provide democratic dividends to the people of the state.

The crisis rocking the Rivers State House of Assembly took a new turn on Monday, December 11, 2023, with the defection of 27 lawmakers from the political party that sponsored their election into the Rivers State House of Assembly.

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