Defection: Rivers speaker declares seats of 25 lawmakers vacant 

Edison Ehie, speaker of the Rivers house of assembly, has declared the seats of the lawmakers who defected vacant. 

On Monday, 27 lawmakers said to be loyal to Nyesom Wike, the immediate past governor of the state, left the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the All Progressives Congress (APC).

During plenary on Wednesday in an undisclosed location, with only lawmakers loyal to the governor in attendance, Ehie declared the seats of the defectors vacant.

Siminalayi Fubara, governor of the state, reportedly presented the N800 billion 2024 budget estimate to the Ehie-led group at the government house.


The PDP had asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to declare the seats vacant.

The National Democratic Coalition (NDC), a non-partisan political group, had also called on INEC to conduct bye-elections to fill the seats of the affected lawmakers.

Daniel Okwa, the group’s convener, said the legislators were ill-advised because their actions contravened the provisions of the constitution. 


“The 27 controversial lawmakers must simply comply with the position of the law by vacating the Rivers state house of assembly having breached section 109 (g) of the constitution that brought them into office,” the group said.

“Under the law, these lawmakers cease to be elected representatives of the people and their offices must be declared vacant.

“We find it most unfortunate that the 27 former Rivers state house of assembly members were misinformed and misled into defecting from the PDP to the APC without realizing that their action effectively means they have vacated their seats as elected lawmakers.

“It is an action that they have themselves to blame for.”


The state government commenced the demolition of the assembly complex on Wednesday.

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