A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Thursday, removed a member of the House of Representatives representing Onitsha North/South Federal constituency, Idu Emeka Godwin, from the House.
Justice Adeniyi Ademola ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw the certificate of return issued to him and issue a fresh certificate of return to Lynda Chuba-Ikpeazu, the authentic candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the April 11 election.
Justice Ademola, in the judgment in the pre-election suit filed by Chuba-Ikpeazu, also ordered the National Assembly, specifically the House of Representatives, to swear in the Chuba-Ikpeazu as a member of the House.
Chuba-Ikpeazu, who won the PDP primary election conducted on December 7, 2014 had in the suit challenged her substitution with Idu Emeka Godwin by the party.
Justice Ademola said in the judgment that Chuba-Ikpeazu, having been listed as candidate of the PDP for the 2015 general election for the House of Representatives following her victory at the primary election, the party ought not to have substituted her name without cogent and verifiable reasons.
He agreed with the submission of the plaintiff’s counsel that it was not lawful for INEC to have accepted the name of PDP candidate for the election other than that approved by the National Working Committee.
The plaintiff, in her affidavit in support of the suit, had said that she and other aspirants participated in the primaries conducted on December 7, 2014 but were disappointed when an order of the federal high court compelled INEC to publish the list of candidates produced by a factional state executive of PDP.
She further averred that Court of Appeal upheld their appeal against the ruling and struck out the suit, but INEC failed to reflect her name as the PDP candidate and that when she approached the PDP, they could not offer any tangible explanation for her substitution.