Court extends order against INEC, PDP over defected Rivers lawmakers

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Justice Donatus Okorowo of the Federal High Court in Abuja has extended the interim order stopping the Independent National Electoral Commission ((INEC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from taking any action against the 26 Rivers House of Assembly members who defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Okorowo extended the order following an application by counsel for the lawmaker, Steve Adehi, who appeared for the Rivers House of Assembly.

He held that based on Order 26, Rule 10 of the Federal High Court, the court had the discretionary power to grant the plea in the interest of justice.

The judge held that he was persuaded by the reasons given by counsel for the lawmakers that granting the order would be better in the interest of justice.

Justice Okorowo subsequently adjourned the matter to January 24 for hearing.

He had on December 15 granted the ex-parte motion filed by the 26 lawmakers who dumped PDP for APC.

The court had restrained INEC from conducting fresh elections to fill the seats of the 26 assembly members.

It also restrained INEC, PDP, and the House of Assembly from declaring their seats vacant and withdrawing their respective certificate of returns pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.

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