The House of Representatives has said its leadership is not under pressure to declare the seats of the 37 members who defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) vacant.
An Abuja High Court ruled this week that the members, who defected to the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) ought to vacate their seats since they left the parties under which they were elected.
Rep. Victor Ogene, Deputy Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Media and Public Affairs, said the Speaker, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, was not under pressure to declare seats of defected members vacant.
Delivering judgment in a matter brought by PDP asking that the legislators should not be allowed to take part in the activities of the assembly, presiding judge, Justice Adeniyi Ademola, held that the lawmakers no longer had any business, morally and legally in the assembly.
However, Ogene who made the clarification at a news conference after a closed door session in Abuja on Wednesday, said: “We would have held the session on Tuesday but we decided to wait until today to allow all parties have copies of the judgment.
“We are not aware of pressure from anywhere to declare anybody’s seat vacant,” he said.
He said that resolutions were also reached at the session on the need to insulate members from partisanship that was gradually creeping into debate on issues in the house, adding that the move was necessary because members had earlier agreed to keep political parties aside in the interest of Nigeria.
He described as mischievous publications suggesting that the speaker and his Deputy, Emeka Ihedioha, appealed against Monday’s judgment of an Abuja Federal High Court, pointing out two principal officers were mere nominal parties to the case.
According to him, the National Assembly has the right to go on appeal as an institution if it so desires.
“However, it is wrong to insinuate that the speaker and the deputy speaker in their personal capacities appealed against the rulings of last Monday,” Ogene said.