Court sacks PDP House of Reps member representing Onitsha North/South, Godwin Idu

A Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday ordered the Peoples Democratic Party member of the House of Representatives representing Onitsha North/South Federal Constituency of Anambra State, Godwin Idu, to vacate his seat.

Justice Adeniyi Ademola also cancelled the certificate of return which the Independent National Electoral Commission earlier issued to him as the winner of the March 28, 2015 election for the Onitsha North/South Federal Constituency seat in the House of Representatives.

The judge, who was delivering judgment in a suit challenging the submission of Idu’s name to the INEC as the candidate of the PDP for the election, ordered that the plaintiff in the suit, Lynda Chuba-Ikpeazu, should be sworn in Idu’s stead.

Chuba-Ikpeazu, had filed the suit which predated the March 28, 2015 election, on March 18, 2015, to challenge the substitution of her name earlier submitted to INEC as the winner of the PDP’s primary, with that of Idu.

The PDP, INEC, the National Working Committee of the PDP and Idu were the defendants in the suit. But INEC did not file any defence in the suit filed through the plaintiff’s counsel, Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN).

The judge, as part of the ancillary orders in his judgment ,directed INEC to issue fresh certificate of return to Chuba-Ikpeazu.

He ordered the Speaker and the Clerk of the National Assembly to swear in Chuba-Ikpeazu as replacement for Idu immediately.

The judge in granting all the prayers sought by the plaintiff held that the substitution of her name with that of Idu violated the provisions of sections 31(2)(j) and 50 of the PDP constitution; sections 31(1)(2) and 33 of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended); section 222(c)of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Article 25 (xii) of the Electoral Guidelines for Primary Elections, 2014 of the PDP.

Credit: Ade Adesomoju/Punch