Two members of the House of Representatives and 18 others from the Cross River State House of Assembly, sacked by a court in Abuja, have filed a suit at the Court of Appeal in the nation’s capital to challenge the judgement which removed them from office.
A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mike Ozekhome, filed the appeal on Monday on behalf of the lawmakers.
The Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State, Christian Ita, disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday.
“This is to inform All Progressives Congress (APC) members of the National Assembly from Cross River State, members of the Cross River State House of Assembly and the general public that an appeal against the judgement of the Federal High Court, Abuja has been filed at the Court of Appeal, Abuja,” he said.
“Also, a motion for a stay of execution of the Federal High Court has been filed. Both processes were filed by renowned constitutional lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Chief Mike Ozekhome.
“Following the filing of the two processes, automatically the orders of the lower court are stayed. Consequently, the APC members in both the National Assembly and the Cross River State House of Assembly should go about their duties freely.”
This comes hours after the Federal High Court in Abuja sacked the lawmakers for unlawful defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the APC.
The lawmakers affected comprised two from the House of Representatives and 18 others in the Cross River State House of Assembly.
In their defence, the lawmakers had informed the court of rancour in the PDP, saying that led to their expulsion from the party.
But Justice Taiwo Taiwo, in his judgement, held that the lawmakers, ought to vacate their seats, having abandoned the political party that sponsored them to power.
According to him, the action of the lawmakers in challenging the competence of the suit is feeble and constitutes an attempt to pull a wool over the eyes of the court.
The judge stated that the defendants had intentions to mislead the court, adding that he found gaps and loopholes in their defence as they tried to twist events to suit their narratives.