A Federal High Court in Abuja has sacked Yakubu Dogara, from the House of Representatives and declared his seat vacant.
Dogara, who represents Bogoro/Dass Federal constituency of Bauchi State, was the Speaker of the House of Representatives between 2015 and 2019.
Dogara had defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2020, citing a breakdown of governance under Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State.
Delivering judgment on Friday, April 22, Justice Donatus Okorowo, declared that having defected from PDP to APC, Dogara was no longer qualified to occupy the seat by virtue of Section 68(1)(g) of the constitution.
Justice Okorowo aligned with the argument of the PDP that by defecting from the party that sponsored him to the ninth National Assembly, before the expiration of his tenure, Dogara ought to vacate the seat as he was no longer qualified to partake in the activities of the lower house.
The judge, who held that the action of the lawmaker was prohibited by law, agreed that the aim of Section 68(1)(g) was to check political prostitution among legislators.
“The judgment is, therefore, given in favour of the plaintiffs I hereby grant the reliefs sought by the plaintiffs,” he declared.
The PDP and one of its members in Bauchi State had, in a suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1060/20, sued Dogara, the speaker of the House of Representatives.
Other defendants were the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and the APC, as 1st to 4th defendants respectively.
The PDP and the group had asked the court to remove the former speaker of the lower house as member representing Dass, Tafawa Balewa and Bogoro Federal Constituency of Bauchi State, over his defection to APC.
The plaintiff, through their counsel, Jubrin Jubrin, said by virtue of Section 68(1)(g) of the Constitution, by defecting from the party that sponsored him to the ninth National Assembly before the expiration of his tenure, Dogara should vacate the seat as he was no longer qualified to partake in the activities of the lower house.