By Alex Enumah in Abuja
The Abuja division of the Federal High Court has again ordered two House of Representatives members from Enugu State to vacate their seats in the National Assembly.
They are: Hon. Stella Ngwu from Igbo-Etiti/Uzo-Uwani Federal Constituency and Hon. Dennis Nnmachi Agbo from Igbo-Eze North/Udenu Federal Constituency.
Justice Okon Abang of the FHC, Abuja, gave the order in a judgment he delivered on a pre-election matter which emanated from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primary election held in December 2014.
Abang held that the emergence of Hon. Ngwu and Hon. Agbo was unlawful as the party in the conduct of its primaries failed to make use of the list of delegates that emerged in its congresses held on November 1, 2014.
Apart from the sacking of the two honourable members, the trial judge also ordered that they refund to the coffers of the National Assembly forthwith all monies so far collected by way of salaries, allowances since they took the seats in the House.
Consequently, Abang ordered the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) to immediately issue certificate of return to Dr. Gabriel Okafor and Hon. Chijioke Ugwu respectively.
Dr. Gabriel A Okafor was declared winner of Igbo-Eze North/Udenu Federal Constituency while Hon. Chijioke H. Ugwu won Egbo-Eze North/Udenu Federal Constituency.
The PDP and its National Working Committee are the 1st and 2nd defendants, while the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is the 3rd defendant and Ngwu and Agbo are 4th defendants in the two separate suits.
According to the court, PDP and its National working Committee had no right nor authority to use any delegate list for the election for its candidate for Igbo-Etiti/Uzo-Uwani and Igbo-Eze North/Udenu Federal Constituencies, respectively, other than the list of delegates that emerged in its 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.”