George Onyejiuwa, Owerri
A lawyer, Nelson Okedinachi, has asked a Federal High Court sitting in Owerri, to sack the Speaker of the Imo state House of Assembly and 19 others who dumped their political parties for the All Progressives Congress (APC).
He also sought an order directing the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to immediately conduct fresh elections in the constituencies of the affected lawmakers. In a Suit No: FHC/OW/CS/20/2020, Mr. Okedinachi, asked the court to determine whether, upon proper interpretation of Section 109(1) (g) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), the defected lawmakers were not liable to vacate their seats having defected from their original political parties to the APC.
In his reliefs, the lawyer sought an order of the court to declare the lawmakers’ seats vacant pursuant to 109(1)(g) of the 1999 Constitution of of Nigeria.
He also prayed the court to direct the affected lawmakers to return to the Imo state treasury all salaries, allowances and benefits paid to them as members of the House of Assembly.
The affected lawmakers are Chiji Collins who first dumped APGA for the PDP to enable him clinch the position of the speaker zoned to Okigwe and again defected to the APC after the January 14 Supreme Court judgment that sacked Emeka Ihedioha, Chigozie Nwaneri, Amarachi Chyna Iwuanyanwu, Innocent Egwim, Dominic Ezerioha, Chidiebere Ogbunikpa,Obinna Okwara, Paul Emeziem, Ekene Nnodimele, Johnson Duru and Michael Onyemaechi Njoku. Others are Uju Onwudiwe, Herculus Okoro, Uche Ogbuagu, Kanayo Onyemaechi, Kennedy Ibeh(Obowo),Eddy Obinna, Samuel Otuibe and Pascal Okolie.
The lawmakers defected from the Action Alliance (AA), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).