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Court of Appeal sacks 2 PDP legislators in Edo

BY GABRIEL ENOGHOLASE

BENIN  -   The EDO chapter of  Action Congress ”s hope of controlling majority seats in the state House of Assembly was yesterday rekindled as the Court of Appeal sacked two Peoples Democratic Party legislators in the House.

The appellate court in a unanimous judgment read by Justice Abubakar, the court upheld the judgment of the lower tribunal which had earlier held that the appellant was initially unqualified having been convicted of tax evasion by revenue mobile court in 1997.

It also ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission to withdraw the Certificate of Return issued to Mr. Omoigberai and issue a fresh Certificate of Return to the first respondent, Mr. Joseph Foly Ogedengbe of the Action Congress who was the first runner up in the election held on 14th April 2007.

Besides, court ordered the immediate swearing-in of Mr. Foly Ogedengbe as member, representing Owan East constituency at the Edo State House of Assembly.

Also in a related judgment delivered by the court,  the appellate court relied on the verdict of the lower tribunal which ordered a bye-election into Akoko-Edo constituency I seat at the House.

The court affirmed that there was no election in that constituency on the 14th April, 2007 following the evidence of how the then INEC Resident Electoral Commission for the state, Mohammed Abubakar Ahmadu cancelled the election and fixed a bye-election for the 28th April, 2007 which was never conducted.

The court therefore nullified the return of the appellant, Mr. Anslem Agbabi of the PDP and ordered INEC to conduct a bye-election into Akoko-Edo constituency I within forty-five days.

It also ordered the appellant to vacate the seat immediately just as it directed INEC to withdrawn his Certificate of Returns.


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