The Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, has given a verdict sacking Honourable Daniel Charles of the Bayelsa parliament for defecting from the state opposition party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the ruling party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The APC had filed a suit against Charles at the Federal High Court in Yenagoa seeking his removal following his renouncement from being a member of the APC.
Charles, however, prevailed in that suit after a verdict was issued by Justice Isa Dashen in his favour which led to APC seeking justice at the appellate court. The reverse was the case at the appellate court when the trio of Justice Joseph Shagaor Ikyegh, Gabriel Omoniyi Kolawole and Olabode A. Adegbehingbe ruled against Hon. Charles.
According to the ruling of the appellate court on Wednesday, July 13 Honourable Charles’s eligibility as a lawmaker became void by virtue of the fact that he was not elected under the platform of the PDP. The appeal, which had Charles, the Speaker of the Bayelsa House of Assembly, Abraham Ngobere and the state House of Assembly as respondents, also declared that the 2nd and third respondents (speaker and the House of Assembly) were under constitutional and legal duties by the virtue of Section 109(1)(g) and (2) of the Constitution to declare the seat of the first respondent (Daniel Charles) as member representing Brass Constituency 1 at the Bayelsa House of Assembly vacant.
Interestingly, the appellate court also ordered the embattled lawmaker to return all the salaries and other benefits availed to form 14th of April, 2021 while as a sitting lawmaker representing Brass Constituency 1 of the Bayelsa state parliament. Similarly, the court ordered all three respondents mentioned in the suit to pay the appellant (APC) the sum of N250, 000 each. Reacting to the ruling of the Court of Appeal, Danile Charles, described the ruling as unfortunate, considering his inalienable right to freedom of association.
He said he believed the Supreme Court would give a favourable judgment and ratify his mandate. He enjoined the people of Brass Constituency I, especially his supporters, to remain calm and hopeful as he plans to appeal the verdict in the coming days. “From the very moment we joined the PDP, the plan of the opposition party was to distract us with litigation, but by the grace of God, we will continue to remain focused and deliver the dividends of democracy to our people. So there is no cause for alarm,” he said.
Meanwhile, the federal high court sitting in Abuja has granted Senator Rochas Okorocha permission to travel abroad for medical check attention The federal high court presided over by Justice Iyang Ekwo gave the declaration. However, Senator Okorocha’s request was permitted the request with a caveat by the federal high court.