- The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC)'s lawmaker in Kogi, Atule Egbunu, has been sacked by the court
- Egbunu's election into the state House of Assembly was annulled on Friday, January 29, in Abuja
- The court, however, ordered the INEC to substitute the candidate of the PDP, Daniel Enefola, for Egbunu
The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has voided the election of a member of Kogi Assembly, Atule Egbunu.
The Nation reports that Egbunu, representing Ibaji constituency, was elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2020.
Legit.ng gathered that while delivering his judgement on Friday, January 29, Justice Inyang Ekwo, ordered that the candidate of the party that came second in the December 5, 2020, by-election, which produced Egbunu, should be inaugurated in place of the sacked APC candidate.
Justice Ekwo gave the order in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/173/2020 filed by Joseph Enemona, in which he challenged the propriety of the primary election conducted by his party, the APC, to chose a candidate for the by-election.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared APC’s Egbunu winner with 8,515 votes, while PDP’s candidate for the election, Daniel Enefola came second with 4,564 votes in the December 5, 2020 election.
Justice Ekwo, in the judgment, upheld the plaintiff’s claim that the APC did not conduct a valid primary election.
He noted that while seven aspirants were to participate in the primary election, the party unlawfully manoeuvred the process, made the participation of a single aspirant possible and denied the other six the opportunity to participate.
He added that the APC acted unlawfully by conducting the purported primary election outside the party’s secretariat, as required by law.
The judge held that the time for the conduct of primary and nomination of a candidate for the December 5, 2020 bye-election had lapsed.
He argued among others, that the party unlawfully excluded six other aspirants from the primary election and also did not allow delegates to vote.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that the key loyalists of former governor of Ogun state, Ibikunle Amosun, at the state House of Assembly defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
It was reported that the seven lawmakers, who were loyalists of Amosun, the senator representing Ogun Central, dumped the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) and returned to the APC on Thursday, January 28.