The Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly on Tuesday during its plenary declared the seats of Esit Eket and Ikono State Constituencies vacant following the defection of two members of the Peoples Democratic Party to the Young Progressive Party.
The seats were occupied by Usoro Akpanusoh, representing Esit Eket; and Asuquo Nana Udo, representing Ikono constituencies.
The Speaker of the House, Aniekan Bassey, while announcing the vacancies, said the house drew its strength from Section 109 (1) (a-g) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.
The Speaker said the section stipulates thus: “Being a person whose election to the House of Assembly 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.”
The Speaker, however, directed the Clerk of the House, Mandu Umoren, to communicate the order of the House to the appropriate authorities.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the House Committee on Information, Aniefiok Dennis (Etinan), who addressed the press shortly after the plenary, said “the Speaker relied on the provisions of Section 109(1)(g) in declaring the seats vacant. He acted in compliance with extant law, since the affected Honourable Members abandoned their seats, given to them by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).”
The House was later adjourned to Thursday, October 13, 2022, by 10am.