Kogi: Court orders removal of APC lawmaker, declares PDP winner

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The Federal High Court in Abuja has sacked the member representing Ibaji constituency in the Kogi State House of Assembly, Atule Egbunu.

In a judgement delivered on Friday, Justice Inyang Ekwo ruled that Egbunu, who contested on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the December 5, 2020 bye-election, did not win the election because he was not duly nominated by his party.

The judge also ruled that the party did not conduct a valid primary election for the constituency.

Justice Ekwo equally declared the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Daniel Enefola, who came second with 4,564 votes against Egbunu’s 8,515 votes, as the rightful winner of the bye-election.

The judgement followed a suit filed by an APC chieftain, Joseph Enemona, against his party (APC) and four others, claiming substantial non-compliance with extant laws in the purported nomination of Egbunu as the APC candidate.

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The plaintiff had told the court that the party excluded six aspirants in the September 3, 2020, primary election that purportedly produced Egbunu and did not allow delegates to vote.

He equally argued that instead of the party to conduct the primary election at the party secretariat in Onyedega in compliance with the law, APC officials moved conducted it at a shopping mall.

Enemona also hinged his case on the ground that while the APC guidelines stipulated direct primary election, the APC officials manipulated the guidelines and purportedly used an indirect system to pick the purported candidate.

He, therefore, demanded that the purported nomination of Egbunu be voided and another primary election conducted.

However, Justice Ekwo, after reviewing submissions by parties in the matter, agreed that the APC did not conduct a primary election known to law and so did not deserve to present a candidate for the bye-election.

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John is a University of Lagos-trained journalist who has read almost every novel written by Chinua Achebe, Jeffrey Archer and Dan Brown. He's an expert Scrabble and draughts player who is also excellent at swimming.
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