Court Extends Order Stopping By-Elections to Replace Rivers Defected Lawmakers


The Federal High Court, located in Abuja, has decided to extend the temporary injunction that bars the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from taking any measures against the 26 members of the Rivers House of Assembly who have recently defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The presiding judge, Justice Donatus Okorowo, made the decision to extend this injunction in response to a plea put forth by Steve Adehi, the legal counsel for the lawmakers, who was representing the Rivers House of Assembly.

Justice Okorowo stated that, as per Order 26, Rule 10 of the Federal High Court, the court has the discretionary power to grant the request in the interest of justice.

READ MORE: Reps Passed 120 Bills in Six Months — Speaker

The judge concurred with the points made by the counsel for the lawmakers, expressing his belief that granting the order would be in line with the principles of justice.

Subsequently, Justice Okorowo decided to adjourn the case until January 24. He had previously, on December 15, granted the ex-parte motion brought forward by the 26 lawmakers who had switched from the PDP to the APC.

The court had previously issued an order preventing INEC from holding new elections to replace the 26 assembly members. It also barred INEC, PDP, and the House of Assembly from declaring the seats of these members vacant and revoking their respective certificates of return until the motion on notice is heard and decided upon.