The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Friday, sacked the lawmaker representing the Ibaji constituency in Kogi State House of Assembly, Atule Egbunu, over unlawful nomination by the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Justice Inyang Ekwo, who gave the verdict while ruling in a petition filed by an APC chieftain, Joseph Enemona, declared the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Daniel Enefola, as the duly elected lawmaker for the Ibaji constituency.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Egbuna the winner of December 5, 2020 by-election in the constituency after he polled 8,515 votes while Enefola scored 4,564 votes in the exercise.
The petitioner, who was one of APC aspirants for the Assembly by-election had challenged the party’s primary election held on September 3, 2020.
He claimed that APC unlawfully excluded six other aspirants from the primary election and did not allow delegates to vote at the poll.
Enemona told the court that APC officials conducted the primary election in a Shopping Mall while the law stipulated that the exercise be conducted at the party secretariat in Onyedega.
He urged the court to nullify Egbulu’s nomination by the party and order the conduct of another primary election.
In his ruling, Justice Ekwo held that the APC did not conduct a primary election known to law.
He said while seven aspirants were expected to participate in the primary election, the party unlawfully maneuvered the system in favour of a single candidate.
The judge declared the primary election purportedly conducted by APC as illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional, null, and void.
He directed the Assembly to inaugurate the PDP candidate as the lawmaker for the constituency.