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Akwa Ibom Assembly sacks 4 lawmakers who dumped PDP for APC

The Assembly said the decision was in line with the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (as amended).

The affected lawmakers are Nse Ntuen (Essien Udim State Constituency), Otobong Ndem (Mkpat Enin State Constituency), Victor Udofia (Ikono State Constituency), and Gabriel Toby (Etim Ekpo/Ika State Constituency).

The decision follows a recent ruling by an Uyo division of the Federal High Court that backed the decision of House Speaker, Onofiok Luke, to declare the seat of another lawmaker, Idongesit Ituen, after he also dumped the PDP for the APC.

Ituen had filed a lawsuit in September to pre-empt Luke from declaring his seat vacant after his defection but lost in the court's ruling that was announced last week.

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According to a statement signed by Luke's spokesperson, Kufre Okon, on Monday, November 19, 2018, the decision to sack the lawmakers was in line with Section 109, Sub-section 1g, of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria as amended.

Protesters kick against Ituen's dismissal

With expectations that Luke would officially declare Ituen's seat vacate during Monday's plenary, a crowd of youths, identified as APC members, mobilised for a demonstration at the complex.

According to a report by Premium Times, the protesters carried placards calling on the assembly to reinstate the sacked lawmaker. They also set up bonfires on the road leading to the Assembly complex, thereby obstructing the free flow of traffic.

When Luke arrived on the scene and attempted to address the crowd, they were unreceptive and stoned his convoy when he later left the complex.

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Premium Times also reported that the police officers attached to the Speaker fired into the air to repel the protesters before the convoy sped off while officers on the scene also fired teargas to disperse the protesters.

Ituen' s lawyer, Uyo-Obong Jumbo, had disclosed last week that the lawmaker would file an appeal against the ruling, including an application for a stay of execution of the judgment.

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