S’Court Sacks Senator Andy Uba, Stella Oduah, 11 Reps Members
THE Supreme Court yesterday sacked the three senators and 11 members of the House of Representatives representing Anambra State at the National Assembly.
The senators are Andy Uba (Anambra South) Stella Oduah (Anambra North) and Uche Ekwunife (Anambra Central).Those affected by the judgment in the House of Representatives include Comrade Tony Nwoye (Anambra East/West), Anayo Nnebe (Awka), Obinna Chidoka (Idemili), Lynda Ikpeazu,(Onitsha North/ South), Emeka Anohu (Ihiala), Eucharia Azodo (Aguata), Chris Azubogu(Nnewi), Chukwuka Onyema (Ogbaru), among others.
Taking over their seats are Chief Chris Uba (Anambra South zone) Annie Okonkwo (Anambra Central zone) and Prince John Emeka (Jnr) (Anambra North zone). Others in the House of Representatives include Hon. CharlesOdedo (Idemili North/ South), Emma Nweke (Awka), Benny Obaze (Ogbaru), Julius Caesar Offoma (Nnewi), Tony Offiah, among others.
In a unanimous judgment delivered by Justice John Inyang Okoro, the Supreme Court set aside the decision of the court of appeal, and restored the Ejike Oguebego-led executive committee to the helms of affairs of the PDP in Anambra State. The justices held that the lawmakers were illegally foisted on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by an unrecognised state executive of the party led by Chief Chukwudi Okasa.
They held that the Chief Ejike Oguebego-led executive was the only constitutionally recognised leadership of the PDP to conduct the party’s primaries.
They further ruled that the candidates who emerged from the primaries conducted by the Oguebego-led group were the true representatives from the state to occupy the vacant seats.
“The decision of the apex court is done to restore justice and discourage impunity in the polity.”“The judgment also lays out the proper procedures for selection of political parties’ legislative candidates,” Okoro declared.
Mr Chris Uba, Sen. Andy Uba’s younger brother and Prince John Emeka are expected to take over the seats vacated by Uba and Oduah respectively.
It would be recalled that in December 2014, the Federal High Court, Abuja had ruled that the Ejike Oguebego-led executive was the only constitutionally recognised leadership of the party in Anambra that could conduct the PDP primaries.
Despite that ruling, the parallel state executive of the PDP led by Chief Chukwudi Okasa went ahead to conduct parallel primaries.
With this judgment, the apex court has upheld the verdict of the Federal High Court declaring that the Oguebego-led executive had the sole right to conduct the primaries in that State.
The National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the PDP National Working Committee (NWC) supervised the primaries conducted by Oguebego’s executive on December 6 and December 7, 2014.
At the end of the exercise, the NWC of the PDP and INEC declared Chris Uba winner for Anambra South, Prince John Emeka for Anambra North, and Annie Okonkwo for Anambra Central.
In his reaction the lead counsel to Oguebego and others, Chief Chris Uche (SAN) expressed happiness on the outcome, pointing out that “this intervention by the judiciary, especially the Supreme Court today, has reinforced its crucial role in the strengthening and deepening of our democracy.”
According to him: “This matter is very significant because it settles the nagging issue of the authentic state executive of the PDP in Anambra.”
In his own remarks, Counsel to the INEC, Hassan M Liman (SAN) expressed happiness that the apex court has now restored the decision of the Federal High Court, which stated that INEC should relate only with the Chief Ejike Oguebego exco in the state.