Two members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the House of Representatives have defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
The PDP members- Idagbo Ochiglegoor
and Michael Etaba are from Cross River State.
The Speaker, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, announced their defection during plenary on Tuesday.
The development comes few weeks after Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade, dumped the PDP for APC.
Ochiglegoor and Etaba represent Obanliku/Obudu/Bekwarra federal constituency and Obubra/Etung federal constituency respectively.
They both cited crisis within the PDP in their home state as the reason for dumping the party.
However, deputy minority leader, Toby Okechukwu, protested against the defections, saying 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 the deputy minority leader’s point of order, saying he did not read the complete section of the constitution he referred to.
The PDP has lost close to 10 of its members in the 9th House of Representatives to the APC.