Lawyer seeks to declare embattled Ike Ekweremadu’s senate seat vacant

There seem to be more troubles for former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, who has been in detention in the United Kingdom since June this year over allegations of organ harvesting, as a lawyer, Ogochukwu Onyema, has asked the Federal High Court, Enugu, to declare his seat vacant by default of representation.

Onyema, a member of the PDP, had contested the primary of the party for the Enugu West Senatorial ticket ahead of the 2019 general elections, but lost to Ekweremadu. He, however, finished third behind another aspirant, who is said to have died two years ago.

In the suit, Onyema asked the court to declare that, by the contemplation of the Nigerian Constitution, the Senate Standing Orders, and the Senate Legislative Calendar, the seat of the Enugu West Senatorial District in the Senate will be declared vacant by default, if the senator representing it is, without just cause, absent from meetings of the Senate for a period amounting, in the aggregate, to more than one-third of the total number of days during which the House or Senate meets in any one year, which is a third of 181 days.

He argued that going by the denial of several bail applications on Ekweremadu by the United Kingdom Metropolitan Court till date, “and the fixing of his pre-trial on or about October 4, 2022, and trial on or about May 28, 2023 as judicially noticed, it cannot be rightly said that Ekweremadu will still perform his duty of representing Enugu West Senatorial zone as provided in the constitution.”

Onyema, who asked the court to compel the Senate President, PDP, and INEC to declare Ekweremadu’s seat vacant, also requested the order of court on the PDP to forward his name (Onyema) as a replacement for Ekweremadu within seven days of service of the order.

He asked the court for an order to withdraw the certificate of return issued to Ekweremadu and fresh certificate of return issued in his favour, as well as a perpetual injunction barring the party from submitting the name of any other person except him.

The case has been adjourned to October 5, 2022.

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