Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Cross River chapter, Mr Venatius Ikem, has commended the Federal High Court in Abuja, ruling on Monday, to sack 20 lawmakers from the state who defected from the party recently.
In enforcing the court order, armed policemen on Tuesday morning took over the Cross River State House of Assembly complex.
The policemen drawn from the anti-kidnapping squad and regular policemen were also seen around the routes leading to the House of Assembly.
Movement into the Assembly complex on Diamond Hill was restricted. The officers were there to enforce the court order, it appeared.
Commenting on the action of the police, state PDP chairman, Mr Venatius Ikem, Tuesday, said members of the party were ecstatic about the judgment that sacked the lawmakers who defected to the All Progressives Congress.
In a judgment delivered by Justice Taiwo Taiwo on March 21, the court held that the lawmakers needed to vacate their seats since they abandoned the party which brought them to power.
The judgment followed a suit filed by the PDP with the number: FHC/ABJ/CS/975/2021.
Ikem said they were in an ecstatic mood having reclaimed their victory.
“We have left no one in doubt that we had confidence in the judiciary and we believed that we would reclaim our mandate.
“The difference between this case and the others in the past is that we challenged it, the courts don’t just give judgments, but adjudicate on matters brought before it.
“We decided that one way or the other, we would correct certain things in our politics and the judgment today is the beginning of this,” Ikem said.
On his part, Mr Mike Ojisi, the state Publicity Secretary of the PDP, said they were ready to field their candidates for the vacant positions, adding that the judgment is a welcomed development.
“We are conscious of the fact that they may want to go for appeal, but that will not make any difference.
“If these lawmakers that were sacked today were wise, they would have learned a lesson from the judgment involving the Ebonyi governor.
“Even if they had returned to the party a day before this judgment, we would have received them with open arms.
“Our umbrella is so large that it can accommodate as many people as possible,” he said.
The affected Assembly members included lawmakers who defected with Governor Ben Ayade in 2021 from the PDP to the APC.
They comprised 18 members from the State House of Assembly and two from the House of Representatives.