A member of the House of Representatives from Benue State, Herman Hembe, has dumped the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) and decamped to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Mr Hembe made his decision known in a letter read on the floor of the house by the deputy speaker, Idris Wase, during plenary on Tuesday.

He represents Vandeikiya/Konshisha federal constituency of Benue State.

Kicking against his defection, the minority leader, Ndudi Elumelu, urged the deputy speaker to declare Mr Hembe’s seat vacant, citing the relevant section of the constitution, a request that was declined.

Mr Hembe’s defection is not the first in the ninth National Assembly, as the PDP had earlier lost two members to the APC.

Mr Hembe is a ranking member of the House of Representatives whose tenure in the last Assembly was cut short by the Supreme Court halfway into his tenure.

A controversial figure, Mr Hembe became enmeshed in a corruption scandal in 2012 after he was accused of demanding a N30 million bribe from the Securities and Exchange Commission — a body the capital market committee he headed supervised, PEEMIUM TIMES reported.

Then director general of the commission, Arunma Oteh, said Mr Hembe and other members of the committee also illegally took money from the commission purportedly for a conference in Dominican Republic, but failed to attend the event.

Amidst the uproar that followed, Mr Hembe was suspended as the committee chairman by speaker, Aminu Tambuwal.

The Independent Corrupt Practices Commission later tried unsuccessfully to prosecute Mr Hembe.


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