Justice Abang sacks two Enugu PDP federal lawmakers

By Onitsha Shedrack,

The controversial Abuja Federal High Court, Justice Okon Abang on Monday sacked two Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) House of Representatives members from Enugu State for alleged wrongful emergence as flagbearers of the party, in the 2015 general elections.justice-okon-abang

The affected lawmakers are Stella Ngwu from Igbo-Etiti and Uzo-Uwani Federal Constituency, and Dennis Agbo from Igbo-Eze North and Udenu Federal Constituency.

In separate suits later merged by the court, Gabriel Okafor and Chijioke Ugwu, had approached the court after PDP conducted its primaries in December 2014, ahead of the 2015 general elections had urged the court to declare that Stella Ngwu and Denis Agbo’s emergence as flagbearers of the party was wrong, since they were not elected delegates to represent the party at the November 1 congress held in 2014.

They prayed the court to declare the election of the Stella Ngwu and Denis Agbo, fourth defendants null and void.

In his ruling, the trial judge, Okon Abang, held that the emergence of Ms. Ngwu and Mr. Agbo was unlawful and therfore ordered them to vacate their offices and return to the treasury of the National Assembly all monies they had collected by way of salaries and allowances since they resumed office in the House.

Mr. Abang said the PDP and its National Working Committee had no right or authority to use any delegate list for the election of its candidate for Igbo-Etiti/Uzo-Uwani and Igbo-Eze North/Udenu Federal Constituencies, respectively, other than the list of delegates that emerged at congresses held on November 1, 2014.

“It is hereby declared that the 4th defendant did not emerge as winner from the primary election conducted for the purpose of electing the House of Representatives’ candidate of the 1st defendant for Igbo-Etiti/Uzo-Uwani Federal Constituency for 2015 general election since the primary election that purportedly produced her as winner was not conducted based on the list of delegates that emerged from ward congresses of the 1st defendant held on 1st November, 2014.

“It is hereby declared that the plaintiff, Dr. Gabriel .A. Okafor won PDP’s party primary election on 6th December,2014 for Igbo-Etiti/Uzo-Uwani Federal Constituency election into the House of Representatives.”

“It is hereby declared that the 4th defendant did not emerge as a winner from the primary election conducted for the purpose of electing the House of Representatives’ candidate of the 1st defendant for Igbo-Eze North/Udenu Federal Constituency for 2015 general election since the primary election that purportedly produced her as winner was not conducted based on the list of delegates that emerged from ward congresses of the 1st defendant held on 1st November, 2014.”

The judge ruled that Mr. Okafor was the rightful winner of the Igbo-Etiti/Uzo-Uwani Federal Constituency seat election, and Mr. Chijioke Ugwu won the Egbo-Eze North/Udenu Federal Constituency, Enugu State in 2015.

He ordered INEC to immediately issue certificates of return to Messrs. Okafor and Ugwu respectively. He also awarded the sum of N100, 000 as cost against the defendants in favour of the plaintiff.

The sacked lawmakers are expected to appeal the ruling and the House of Representatives may not enforce the judgement until appeals are exhausted.

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