The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Thursday asked two of its members in the House of Representatives that defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) to vacate their seats.
Zephaniah Jisalo (FCT) and Ahmed Tijani (Kogi) had on Thursday announced their defection from the PDP to the APC on the floor of the House.
The two lawmakers were elected in 2015 on the platform of the PDP.
In a statement issued by the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, the party said it would explore every available legal means to ensure that the two legislators lose their seats.
Stating that there was no division in the PDP to justify the action of the lawmakers, Adeyeye said the defection of the lawmakers was illegal and contrary to provisions of the 1999 Constitution.
The statement said: “In the light of this, we wish to inform all Nigerians and the leadership of the National Assembly, most especially, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon Yakubu Dogara, that the duo of Hon. Ahmed Tijani from Kogi State and Zaphaniah Jisalo from the FCT who announced their defection from our party to the APC have embarked on illegal acts, contrary to the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution.
“Their excuses for defecting from our party are vague, cooked up and purely irrelevant to any section of the Nigerian Constitution.
“We thus expect and demand, that the Honourable Speaker and the body of Principal Officers of the House of Representatives, act in accordance with the Oath of allegiance they took to defend the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by immediately ensuring that the seats of these defectors are declared vacant .
“In the face of tyranny that is gradually creeping on the nation, the least the leadership of the National Assembly can do, is to stick with the rule of law and uphold the dictates of the Constitution without fear or favour, without considering allegiance to any political affiliation.
“As a political party, we stand by the patriotic and constitutional position taken by Hon. Yakubu Barde from Kaduna and that of Hon. Ossai Nicholas Ossai from Delta State who stood against the dastardly act which these former members of our party exhibited in the chambers of the House of Representatives when their supposed letters of defection were read out by Speaker Dogara to whom the letters were submitted.
“We expect nothing aside a noble support by the Speaker of the House of Representatives for the rule of law and we say loud and clear that there is no division whatsoever in our party, the PDP that would have served as justification for the defections announced by the two members in the chamber.
“For clarity purposes, the Supreme Court has decided in a landmark judgment delivered on July 12, 2017, that there is no leadership crisis in the PDP and as such, the party under the acceptable leadership of the National Caretaker Committee (NCC) is the only leadership recognised by law as the authentic leadership of the PDP.
“We wish to point out clearly that anyone who announces any defection from the PDP, citing any sort of internal crisis is being a liar.”