According to the Centre for Reform and Public Advocacy, a civil society organisation, those who defected are no longer members of the Rivers State House of Assembly and should be arrested and prosecuted.
The lawmakers were charged with conspiracy to commit treasonable felony, according to the Centre.
In an open letter to the IGP dated December 12, 2023, the Centre vowed to prosecute the 27 lawmakers if Egbetokun did not heed its call.
“We are a non-governmental organisation committed to good governance in accordance with the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and best practices in democratic norms,” writes the Centre’s Legal Adviser, Kalu Kalu Agu.
“As a result of our commitment to our core objective, we hereby demand the immediate arrest and prosecution of the twenty-seven (27) former Rivers State House of Assembly members who defected to the APC for the offences of:
“Intent to commit treasonable felony.”
“Our findings reveal the following facts as reasonable grounds to suspect that the aforementioned twenty-seven former House of Assembly members should be prosecuted for the offences:
“The said 27 former members continue to pose as members of the said House of Assembly despite the fact that they are no longer members due to express provisions of the 1999 Constitution and decided cases.”
“The said 27 former members, being ordinary citizens and no longer entitled to sit in the hallowed chambers of the House of Assembly established by the 1999 Constitution, are still holding deliberations as such members with the intent, by their decisions and conduct, to enter the chambers of the House and conduct proceedings to pass resolutions on the affairs of the Rivers State Government.”
“In light of the foregoing, we hereby demand that you initiate and openly carry out the arrest and prosecution of the aforementioned 27 people within 24 hours of receiving this letter.”
“Please be advised that if you do not comply with the demand contained in this letter within twenty-four hours of receipt, we will take appropriate action to ensure that the 27 suspects are prosecuted in accordance with the law.”
“We do hope wise counsel will prevail.”