by Oluwatosin Fatoyinbo
Honourable Ifedayo Abegunde has been sacked by the Court of Appeal sitting in Akure. Abegunde who is the Member of the House of Representatives representing the Akure South And north federal constiturency. In 2011, Abegunde had defected from the Labour Party to the Action Congress of Nigeria now APC.
He had instituted a suit at the Federal High Court to protect his seat but the court declared his seat vacant. His appeal to the Court of Appeal has now been thrown out and his seat declared vacant.
He based the reason for his defection on the crisis within the LP at the time but the court ruled that there was no crisis that warranted his defection in line with section 68(1) (g) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Dissatisfied with the decision of the trial court, Abegunde asked the appellate court to upturn the judgment of the lower court.
After the exchange of briefs and written addresses by the plaintiff and defendants, the Appeal Court dismissed the appeal filed by the lawmaker.
Delivering judgment, the five-man panel of the appellate court headed by Justice A. G. Mshelia dismissed the appeal and affirmed the decision of the Federal High Court.
Mshelia said the appellant had violated the provision of section 68 (1) (g) of the Constitution of the Federal Repubic of Nigeria 1999 as amended.
The court further held that “there was no division within the LP to warrant a defection from it.”
The court therefore ordered the appellant to vacate his seat as a member of the House of Representatives representing Akure North/South Federal Constituency.