The Senator representing Taraba North Senatorial District, Abubakar Danladi and Hon. Herman Hembe, the House of Representatives member representing
Vandeikya /Konshisha Federal Constituency of Benue state have been ordered to vacate their seats by the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
The Apex court in separate ruling on Friday voided the elections of the two lawmakers, ordering them to vacate their respective seats immediately and refund all salaries and allowances they received within 90 days.
In the case of Senator Danladi, the court unanimously ordered that Alhaji Shuaibu Isa Lau, be sworn-in by the Senate President or the clerk of the Senate as the Senator representing Taraba North Senatorial District.
The court further ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to withdraw the certificate issued to Senator Abubakar Danladi and issued a fresh certificate of return to Isa Lau.
This was the judgment of the court in the appeal filed by Shuaibu Isa Lau challenging the decision of the court of appeal That had upturned his victory during the primary that he was wrongfully substituted.
Justice Adamu Augie who read the lead judgment of the five member panel of the apex court held that “the appellant has the right to participate just like any other candidate in the primary and of he feels his right was infringed upon, he has 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,vthe only option is to declare the appellant as the winner of primary.
The apex court equally ordered Hembe to vacate his post immediately and return all salaries and benefits collected while in office within 90 days.
The judgment was an offshoot of an appeal against the decision of the Court of Appeal sitting in Makurdi which on July 11, 2016 dismissed Mrs. Mato’s appeal for lacking in merit.
The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen who delivered the unanimous judgment held that the appellant ( Mrs. Mato) also of the APC was the winner of the general election of March 28, 2015 with respect to Vandeikya /Konshisha Federal Constituency of Benue State as a candidate of the APC.
“I hereby order the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw the Certificate of Return issued to Hon. Herman Hembe immediately and issue same to the plaintiff/appellant (Mrs. Mato) forthwith.