Supreme Court sacks two national assembly members

*Danladi, Hembe (Photo credit: Nigerian Tribune)

Orders them to refund salaries, allowances collected since 2015

The Supreme Court has sacked the lawmaker representing Vandikwa/ Konshisha federal constituency of Benue State, Mr. Herman Hembe and ordered him to return all the salaries and allowances he received since 2015.

In its ruling, the court held that Hembe did not win the All Progressives Congress (APC) primary to represent that constituency at the national assembly.

The court held that Ms. Dorothy Mato won the party’s ticket and ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue her a certificate of return.

Hembe was also was ordered to pay N700, 000 to Mato.

Similarly, the court sacked the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) senator representing Taraba North, Mr. Abubakar Danladi and ordered him to refund all salaries and allowances earned in the senate within 90 days.

The court declared Alhaji Shuaibu Isa Lau, also of the PDP, as the senator representing the senatorial district.

The order was contained in the judgement of the court on the appeal filed by Lau.

Lau had challenged the decision of the Court of Appeal that upturned his victory during the primary elections. He claimed that he was wrongfully substituted.

The court also ordered INEC to withdraw the certificate issued to Danladi and issue a fresh certificate of return to Lau.

The court in a unanimous judgment of a five-member panel held that the appellant had the right to participate just like any other candidate in the primary election.

The court added that if Lau felt that his right was infringed upon, he had the right to approach the court.

“From the totality of the appeal before this court, all the issues are resolved in favour of the appellant.

“His substitution at the primary election is null and void. Since the appellant scored the highest number of votes the only option is to declare the appellant as the winner of primary election.

“This court hereby orders that the appellant be issued with the certificate of return and the respondent should immediately vacate the seat. He should return to the national assembly, all salaries and allowances received as a senator within 90 days,” the court declared.

It would be recalled that Danladi’s political career was once saved by the same Supreme Court which ousted him today, June 23.

In 2014, the court ordered him reinstated as Taraba State’s deputy governor after he was impeached in controversial circumstances.

Danladi was the first deputy governor who ran on the same ticket with former Governor Danbaba Suntai.

He was impeached on October 4, 2012 shortly before Mr. Suntai took ill after an air crash.

Another politician, Garba Umar, was then appointed deputy governor after his removal.

And after he took ill following a plane crash, Umar assumed the position of acting governor.

But the Supreme Court ruled on November 21, 2014, nullifying Danladi’s impeachment, and clearing him to replace Umar as acting governor.

The court said Danladi was denied fair hearing before he was impeached.

Seven justices of the court agreed with the ruling delivered by Justice Sylvester Ngwuta at the time.

Danladi remained in office as acting governor until May 29, 2015.

He was elected senator on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) during the 2015 general election.





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