2023 polls: APC gains as Court sends lawmakers packing from NASS

Many members of the National Assembly have received the big stick from the Court of Appeal after losing out in their election litigation battles.

Both the Senate and the House of Representatives are witnessing an unprecedented level of judicial verdicts, with a number of them shockingly sent packing after five months.

In this report, DAILY POST reviews the grounds for the removal of some of the members.

In the Senate, five lawmakers have so far been sacked by the Court of Appeal. APC lost seats and gained two seats. The PDP gained three seats but lost two, while the Labour Party lost one seat.

In the House of Representatives, no less than 12 lawmakers have been sacked by the Court. Out of the twelve sacked, eight of them are members of the PDP, three are on the LP platform and one from the APC.

On the gainers side, APC gained 8 seats, PDP has 2, NNPP 1 and APGA 1.

Elisha Abbo, Adamawa APC

The controversial legislator was sacked by the Court of Appeal in Abuja which declared Amos Yohanna as the winner of Adamawa North Senatorial District.

Yohanna cited electoral irregularities and manipulation of results, and the Court granted the prayer to sack the lawmaker.

Abbo, who was first elected in 2019 on the platform of the PDP, had a fair share of controversy, including the slapping of a lady in a sex toy shop in Abuja.

Darlington Nwokocha, Abia LP

The former minority whip of the senate has also gotten the big hammer from the court.

The Court of Appeal in Lagos sacked Darlington and declared Augustine Akobundu of the PDP as the winner of Abia Central Senatorial District.

The decision of the court further depleted the number of the Labour Party in the Senate. Darlington had won the election by a landslide by polling 92,116 votes against Akobundu’s 41,477 votes. But he fell to pre-election complications.

Abubakar Ohere, Kogi APC

Governor Yahaya Bello is currently represented in the senate by his archenemy, Natasha Akpoti-Uduagan.

Akpoti-Uduagan defeated Abubakar Ohere at both the election petition tribunal and the Court of Appeal.

The tribunal had in September sacked Ohere as the Senator representing Kogi West, but the lawmaker approached the Court of Appeal for redress. However, the court ruled against him.

Napoleon Bali, Plateau PDP

Napoleon Bali is one of the victims of the crisis rocking the PDP in Plateau State, as the Appeal Court continued to sack PDP lawmakers from Plateau State.

The court ruled that the PDP had no structure in the state prior to its primary elections. It therefore sacked Bali and declared Simon Lalong, a former governor of the state and Minister of Labour and Employment, as the Senator for Plateau South.

Mr Lalong will have to decide if he is going to the Red Chamber or sticking to his current job.

A High Court in Plateau State had ruled that PDP had no valid structure in Plateau State to nominate candidates for elections. But it seems the party ignored the ruling. Therefore, the Appeal Court has been sacking most of the candidates one after the other.

So far, the Appeal Court has sacked about six federal lawmakers from Plateau State.

Simon Mwadkwon, Plateau PDP

The minority leader was also affected by the PDP crisis in Plateau State. The Court of Appeal sacked him and ordered a rerun within 90 days.

The decision of the court followed a suit filed by Chris Giwa of the All Progressives Congress and Gyang Zi of the Labour Party.

It is unclear if the former Minority Leader would be allowed to participate in the re-run election.

House of Representatives

Simon Bagos, Beni Lar, Isaac Kwalu and Peter Gyendeng, Plateau PDP

The Court of Appeal in Abuja sacked the four of Simon Bagos, Beni Lar, Isaac Kwalu and Peter Gyendeng as members of the House of Representatives from Plateau State.

The four lawmakers are also the victims of the pre-election matter affecting PDP members from Plateau State.

The Court affirmed that the issue of party structure is both pre-election and post-election.

Chijioke Okereke, Enugu Labour Party

The Court of Appeal also sacked Chijioke Okereke of the Labour Party as the member representing Aninri/Awgu/Oji-River Federal Constituency.

The election petition tribunal had sacked Okereke as the winner of the election and declared Anayo Onwuegbu of the PDP as the winner of the election.

Okereke had approached the Court of Appeal for redress but the court affirmed the decision of the tribunal.

Stainless Nwodo, Enugu LP

The Court of Appeal also sacked Stainless Nwodo, a member representing Igbo-Etiti/Uzo-Uwani federal constituency of Enugu State.

The Court sacked the lawmaker over alleged certificate forgery and irregularities during the election and declared Martin Oke of the PDP as the winner of the election.

Dennis Agbo, Enugu LP

The Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos State also sacked Denis Agbo, the member elected on the platform of the Labour Party in the last election. He was representing Udenu/Igboeze North federal constituency of Enugu State.

The court ordered a fresh election within 90 days while ruling on a petition filed by the All Progressives Congress candidate, Dr Oby Ajih.

Emeka Nnamani, Abia LP

Emeka Nnamani was sacked as the member representing Aba North and South Federal Constituency over alleged certificate forgery.

The appellate court declared Alex Ikwechegh of the All Grand Progressives Alliance, APGA, as the representative of Aba North and South Federal Constituency.

Jingi Rufai, Adamawa PDP

Jingi Rufai, a member of the PDP was also sent packing from the House as the member representing Mubi North, Mubi South and Maiha federal constituency of Adamawa State.

The Court ordered INEC to give a certificate of return to Jaafar Magaji of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Musa Ilyasu Kwankwaso, Kano APC

Kwankwaso was also sacked as the representative of Kura/Madobi/Garun Malam federal constituency in the House.

The Court of Appeal asked INEC to give a certificate of return to Yusuf Datti, candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).

The judgement further depleted the ruling APC in Kano State.

Yusuf Bashir, Kaduna PDP

The Court also sacked Yusuf Bashir of the PDP as the representative of Kauru federal constituency of Kaduna State.

The court declared Muktar Chawai as the member representing the constituency.

Jonas Okeke, Imo PDP

Jonas Okeke was also sent packing by the Court as the representative of Ehime Mbano/Ihitte Uboma, Obowo Federal Constituency in Imo State.

The Court declared Chike Okafor as the winner of the election.

Mohammed Salihu, Adamawa PDP

The Court sacked Salihu as the representative of Yola North/South federal constituency of Adamawa State. The former lawmaker was sacked over discrepancies in his certificate.

The appellant court declared Abubakar Baba Zango as the new member of the Reps.

(Daily Post)

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