Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo state and his predecessor, Senator Rochas Okorocha on Thursday witnessed the defection of two members of the House of Representatives from Imo state from the Action Alliance (AA) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The two House members whose defection was announced at plenary by Speaker Femi Gbajabimila are Rep. Kingsley Obinna representing Ohaji/Eghema/Oguta/Oru West Federal Constituency and Rep. Pascal Obi, who represents Ideato North/Ideato South Federal Constituency.
In their letter of defection as read by the speaker, the lawmakers explained that their decision to dump the AA for the APC was informed by the division within the party.
Speaker Gbajabiamila had barely finished their defection letter when House Minority Leader, Rep. Ndudi Elumelu raised a point of order to counter the reasons advanced by the two lawmakers for their defection.
Elumelu described the speaker’s reading of the defection letter as illegal, stating that “I am not aware that there is crisis in the AA and the national chairman has never informed me that there are factions in the party. Therefore, what you have just done is illegal and unlawful.”
However, Speaker Gbajabiamila ruled him out of order, saying he lacks the locus to challenge the defection of the two House members from Imo since he is not a member of the AA.
“I will rule on your point of order based on Section 68 of the constitution. The letter that I read out clearly states the reasons why they are leaving the AA.
“Second, there is something in law called locus. Are you a member of AA? You are the minority leader and you’re a member of PDP. As minority leader, you’re not automatically a member of AA. You can’t go to court because you’re not aggrieved. So, your point of order is out of order,” the speaker declared.
Addressing the media after plenary, the two defecting House members said they left the AA because of the factions in the party.
Rep. Kingsley Obinna stated that “as I speak with you, we have different factions in AA. But today, we have seen Imo state that has been captured by APC and we have no reason that to come back and contribute our quota. We have to return home and build the party.
“We are happy that APC has recaptured Imo state. We have left Egypt for the Promised Land.”
Also, Rep. Pascal Obi said they were originally members of the APC, but had to leave for the AA, when they were unjustly denied nomination tickets for the 2019 general elections by the APC, adding that the party is better united now which informed their decision to return to the party.