Politics 06 May 2022

Court fixes hearing on suit seeking sack of Oduah from Senate for May 25

A Federal High Court sitting in Awka on Thursday fixed the hearing on a suit seeking the sack of Mrs. Stella Oduah, representing Anambra North Senatorial District in the National Assembly.

Chief Kingsley Nnalue, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Suit No. FHC/AWK/CS/38/2022 is asking the Court to sack Oduah who was elected on the platform of PDP for defecting to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Other defendants in the suit are Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC), the President of the Senate, Clerk of the National Assembly and the PDP as first, second, third, and fifth respondents respectively.

Hon. Justice H. A Nganjiwa who fixed the date also granted applications for accelerated hearing and abridgment of time made by Mr Oluchukwu Udemezue, counsel to the plaintiff.

Nganjiwa also ordered that the plaintiffs should be served by substituted means through courier and that the defendants had 15 days to respond.

He held that there was merit in the exparte motion brought before the court and granted all reliefs sought.

Nnalue, who was second in the PDP Anambra North Senatorial District primary in 2019, is seeking a declaration that Oduah’s continued occupation of the seat, having left PDP for the APC is a violation of the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).

Nnalue said the court should swear him in as replacement for Oduah having come second in the primary election or that INEC should conduct a by-election which the fourth defendant would not participate in.

The plaintiff said Oduah left her former party in which she was elected and joined the APC on Aug. 26th

The plaintiff prayed the court to determine if Oduah, who was elected senator ought not to vacate her seat having defected from PDP through which she was elected to the APC.

He referenced the decision of the Supreme Court of Nigeria in Abegundu v. Ondo State House of Assembly (2015) reported in 8 Nigeria Weekly Law Report 8 (Pt. 1461) and Section 68(1)(g) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).

Other reliefs sought were an order declaring vacant the seat of Senator Stella Adaeze Oduah (the 4th defendant) and canceling the Certificate of Return issued to Senator Stella Oduah by the 1st Defendant.

“An order of the Honourable Court directing the 1st Defendant to accept the name of the plaintiff, being the person that emerged 2nd in the primaries of 5th defendant, and issue the plaintiff with a certificate of return as the Senator representing Anambra North Senatorial District.

“An order directing the 2nd and 3rd defendants to swear in the plaintiff as the Senator representing Anambra North Senatorial District in the National Assembly or in the alternative to prayers (c) and (d) above.

“An order directing the 1st defendant to conduct a bye election into Anambra North Senatorial District within 60 days from the date of the judgment wherein the 4th defendant shall not participate in” he said.

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