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Court stops INEC from conducting fresh election into 27 Rivers lawmakers’ seats

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Justice Donatus Okorowo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, has restrained the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from conducting a fresh election to fill the seats of the 27 members of the Rivers State House of Assembly members who joined the All Progressives Congress (APC) last week.

The judge, who gave the ruling in an ex-parte motion moved by counsel to the defected lawmakers, Peter Onuh, also restrained the INEC, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and the Assembly from declaring their seats vacant or withdrawing their respective Certificate of Returns pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.

He equally gave an interim order of injunction restraining all the defendants from interfering with or impeding in any way or attempting to interfere with or impede the performance of the applicants’ official and legislative functions pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice, among other reliefs.

READ ALSO: NLC threatens legal action over lingering Rivers political crisis

The ruling was made available to journalists on Sunday night.

The lawmakers had in the motion marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1681/2023/ dated December 13 and filed on December 15 listed INEC, PDP, the Assembly, clerk of the Assembly, Inspector-General of Police, and Department of State Service (DSS) as respondents.

The plaintiffs who are loyalists of the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesome Wike, dumped the PDP for APC as the crisis rocking the state took a fresh twist last Monday.

The PDP has since asked INEC to declare vacant seats and conduct a fresh election into the constituencies.

Justice Okorowo adjourned the matter till December 28 for hearing the motion on notice.

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