Blog, News, Politics

Court orders senator to appear over suit challenging defection

The Federal High Court, Abuja, has ordered that a senator, Stella Oduah, appear before it and state her defence in the suit filed against her by JohnMary Jideobi, an Abuja-based lawyer.
The judge, Ahmed Musa made the order Tuesday following the petition filed to declare Mrs Oduah’s seat vacant after her defection from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
Mrs Oduah, who defected in June, was elected senator on the platform of the PDP in 2015 but fell apart with PDP when she could not secure the party’s governorship ticket for the Anambra State governorship election that held in 2017.
In the papers made available to PREMIUM TIMES, Mr Jideobi asked the court to determine whether Mrs Oduah’s seat ought not to have been vacated, by the virtue of her defection.
“Whether upon an intimate reading and complete understanding of section 68(1) (g) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, and especially in view of the decision of the Nigerian Supreme Court in Abegundu v. Ondo State House of Assembly, (2015) 8 NWLR. Part 1461 Page 314, the Defendant who defected to the All Progressives Grand Alliance from the People’s Democratic Party [on which platform she was elected a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and where there was no faction as at time of her defection] ought not to have her seat in the Senate declared vacant by this Honourable Court,” the papers read in part.
According to the application, the plaintiff wants Mrs Oduah to resign office and turn in her allowances.
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“A Declaration of this Honourable Court that upon an intimate reading and complete understanding of section 68(1) (g) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, and especially in view of the decision of the Nigerian Supreme Court in Abegundu v. Ondo State House of Assembly, (2015) 8 NWLR. Part 1461 Page 314, the Defendant who defected to the All Progressives Grand Alliance from the People’s Democratic Party [on which platform she was elected a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and where there was no faction as at time of her defection] ought to have her seat in the Senate declared vacant by this Honourable Court
“An Order of this Honourable Court declaring vacant the Anambra North Senatorial seat currently occupied by Senator Stella Oduah-Ogiemwonyi and cancelling her Certificate of Return.

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