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Just In: Two Reps Members Dump PDP For APC

Two Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members in the house of representatives have defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The defectors are Idagbo Ochiglegoor and Michael Etaba from Cross River state.

Femi Gbajabiamila, the speaker of the house, announced their defection on the floor of the green chamber on Tuesday.

The development comes weeks after Ben Ayade, governor of Cross River, dumped the PDP for the APC.

Ochiglegoor and Etaba represent  Obanliku/Obudu/Bekwarra federal constituency and Obubra/Etung federal constituency respectively.

They both cited a crisis in the PDP in their state as the reason for dumping the party.

However, Toby Okechukwu, the deputy minority leader, protested the defections and said there is no crisis in the PDP as they claimed.

Okechukwu also said Ochiglegoor and Etaba ought to lose their seat for defecting from the party, citing section 68 of the constitution to back his claim.

The section explains conditions where a member’s seat could be declared vacant.

It states: “(1) A member of the Senate or of the House of Representatives shall vacate his seat in the House of which he is a member if … -(g) being a person whose election to the House was sponsored by a political party, he becomes a member of another political party before the expiration of the period for which that House was elected; Provided that his membership of the latter political party is not as a result of a division in the political party of which he was previously a member or of a merger of two or more political parties or factions by one of which he was previously sponsored.”

But the speaker overruled his point of order and said he did not read the complete section of the constitution he referred to.

The PDP has lost at least three of its members in the current house to the APC.

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