Two members of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly are likely going to lose their seats in the 6th Assembly following their likely defection to the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) in the State.
The duo, Hon. Nse Ntuen and Hon. Gabriel Tobby representing Essien Udim and Etim Ekpo/Ika State Constituencies respectively, were spotted with the defecting Senator representing Akwa Ibom North West, Senator Godswill Akpabio, on his arrival at the Ibom International Airport after failing in his alleged bid to use the DSS in a plot to overthrow the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, at Abuja on Tuesday.
It will be recalled that the State House of Assembly had established a precedence on the seats of defecting House members.
In 2014, five (5) seats including that of the Chief Chip, Hon. Alice Ekpenyong of Mbo, Hon. Sarah Elijah of Nsit Atai, Hon. Kufre Etuk of Uruan, Hon. Bassey Etienam of Urue Offong Oruko and Hon. Paul Owo of Ini State Constituencies were all declared vacant following their cross carpeting activities.
It is therefore expected of the Speaker, Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. (Barr.) Onofiok Luke to recourse to these precedents on the two defaulting members who look set to defect to the All Progressives Congress against the necessary provisions of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which stipulates that a lawmaker can only defect if there is a crisis or factionalisation in his political party.
In this case, The People’s Democratic Party under the leadership of Uche Secondus has been on course without any factions unlike what is obtainable in the All Progressives Congress where there are two different groups namely the Reformed All Progressive Congress (RApc) and the All Progressive Congress headed by two different personalities.
Similarly, the Akwa Ibom state chapter of the party is polarised into two factions, where Udoma Ekarika and Ini Okopido are dragging the leadership position.