Daniel Charles, the member representing Brass Constituency 1 in the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, has been sacked by the Court of Appeal sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, for defecting from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The APC had dragged Daniel Charles to court after his defection, praying for his dismissal, but he won the case at the Federal High Court in Yenagoa presided over by Justice Isa Dashen, prompting the APC to appeal.
However, the Court of Appeal Justices, Joseph Shagaor Ikyegh, Gabriel Omoniyi Kolawole, and Olabode A. Adegbehingbe, in the case numbered CA/PH/79/2022, overturned the lower Court’s decision on January 11.
The Appeal Court Justices ruled on Wednesday that, as a result of his defection from the APC, the platform on which he was elected, Charles should have vacated his seat in the state House of Assembly as of April 14, 2021, by Sections 109(1)(g) and (2) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Constitution.
The appeal, which named Charles, the Speaker of the Bayelsa House of Assembly, Abraham Ngobere, and the state House of Assembly as respondents, also stated that the second and third respondents (the Speaker and the House of Assembly) owed the first respondent (Daniel Charles) constitutional and legal duties under Sections 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 polls
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It also ruled that Charles must immediately return all salaries, allowances, and other emoluments received as a member of the state House of Assembly representing Brass Constituency 1 beginning on April 14, 2021. It also ordered that the three respondents pay the appellant, the All Progressives Congress, ₦250, 000 each (APC).
Daniel Charles responded to the Court of Appeal’s decision by calling it “unfortunate,” given his inalienable right to freedom of association.
He stated that he believed the Supreme Court would rule in his favour and ratify his mandate. He urged the people of Brass Constituency I, particularly his supporters, to remain calm and hopeful as he prepares to file an appeal in the coming days.
“From the very moment we joined the PDP, the opposition party planned 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.