- The Supreme says PDP's Sopuluchukwu Ezeonwuka is not the rightful person to sit in the lower house of legislature
- Ezeonwuka has now been kicked out of the Green Chamber because he wrongly took somebody else's mandate
- The apex court held that Ben Nwankwo’s name was wrongly substituted with Ezeonwuka’s after the former had obtained the nomination of the party to contest the National Assembly election
A lawmaker of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Sopuluchukwu Ezeonwuka representing Orumba North/South in Anambra Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives has been removed by the Supreme Court.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun issued the ruling on Friday, April 7 in an appeal filed against Ezeonwuka’s election by another member of the party Ben-Nwankwo in Abuja.
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According to her, Nwankwo’s name was wrongly substituted with Ezeonwuka’s after he had obtained the nomination of the party to contest the National Assembly election.
Dissatisfied with the Feb. 20, 2015 judgment of the Federal High Court in Abuja and the decision of the Court Appeal to uphold it, Nwankwo approached the apex court.
The ruling read: “Conclusion: having resolved the key issues in favour of the appellant, the appeal succeeds and it is hereby allowed.
“The judgment of the Court of Appeal delivered on June 26, 2016, is hereby set aside for being a nullity having exceeded its jurisdiction by granting relief not sought by the parties before it.
“This follows that the judgment of the Federal High Court, Abuja, delivered on Feb.20, 2015 was delivered without jurisdiction and it’s a nullity. It is equally set aside.
“The Originating Summons filed on Dec.15, 2014 in FHC/Abj/CS/1013/2014 is hereby struck out,’’ she said.
Justice Kekere-Ekun further held that: “the consequence of the above order is that the parties shall revert to the status quo ante.
“The existing position before the first respondent (Ezeonwuka) filed a suit at the trial court was that not only was the appellant’s name submitted to INEC for the March 28, 2015, election, he won the election.
“It was at the point of being issued the Certificate of Return that he was confronted by a letter conveying the order of the trial court stopping that action.
“In the circumstances, it is hereby ordered that the appellant, Chief Ben Nwankwo, being the candidate duly sponsored by the PDP in that election is entitled to be issued with the certificate of return.
“The second respondent is hereby ordered to issue Chief Nwankwo a certificate of return in respect of the National Assembly election held March 28, 2015, forthwith,” she said.
The judge also further said: “the first respondent (Ezeonwuka) is hereby ordered to vacate the seat of the Orumba North/South Federal Constituency of Anambra State in the National Assembly forthwith’’.
“It is further ordered that Ezeonwuka shall refund to the National Assembly all monies collected by him by way of salaries and allowances since he took the seat within 90 days.
“And finally, a fine of N500, 000 is awarded in favour of the appellant against the first respondent.”