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Court sacks Dogara amid confusion over provisions of constitution on cross-carpeting by politicians

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Justice D.U. Okorowo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Friday sacked the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, for defecting to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Dogara, who represents the Bogoro/Dass Federal Constituency of Bauchi State, dumped the APC for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) before the 2019 general elections.

The ex-speaker, however, returned to the ruling party in 2021 over a frosty relationship with Governor Bala Mohammed.

The judge, who delivered the ruling on the application filed by the PDP, said Dogara’s defection to the APC was wrong and ordered him to vacate the seat immediately.

The development is expected to generate mixed reactions as court’s rulings on cross-carpeting by politicians had been marred by inconsistency.

Read also: I’m not aware my traditional title in Bauchi has been suspended —Dogara

Justice Inyang Ekwo of the same court had in March ordered the Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi, his deputy, Kelechi Igwe and some lawmakers to leave their positions for dumping the PDP for APC two years ago.

A few weeks later, Justice Taiwo Taiwo also of the same court dismissed a suit seeking the removal of the Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade, for joining the APC.

The judge, who delivered the ruling on an application filed by the PDP, held that the removal of a sitting governor and his deputy can only be done in line with constitutional provisions.

He said: “The 3rd and 4th Defendant cannot be removed except by Constitutional provision. This court has no power to declare vacant the seat of the 3rd and 4th Defendants.”

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