A legal practitioner, Nelson Okedinachi, has asked a Federal High Court sitting in Owerri, the Imo State capital to sack the speaker of the Imo state of Assembly and 19 other members for dumping their political parties for the All Progressives Congress.
He is seeking an order directing the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to immediately conduct elections for the constituencies of the affected lawmakers
The affected lawmakers included that of the Speaker, Chiji Collins (Isiala Mbano), who had immediately dumped APGA for the PDP to enable him clinch the position of the Speaker zoned to Okigwe and again defected to the APC after the January 14 Supreme Court judgment that sacked ex-Governor Emeka Ihedioha; majority leader, Chigozie Nwaneri (Oru East), Amarachi Chyna Iwuanyanwu (Nwangele); Innocent Egwim (Ideato North), Dominic Ezerioha (Oru West) and Chidiebere Ogbunikpa (Okigwe).
Others are Obinna Okwara (Nkwerre), Paul Emeziem (Onuimo), Ekene Nnodimele (Orsu), Johnson Duru (Ideato South), Michael Onyemaechi Njoku (Ihitte Uboma), Uju Onwudiwe (Njaba) and Ngozi Obiefule (Isu)
The rest are Herculus Okoro (Ohaji Egbema), Uche Ogbuagu (Ikeduru), Kanayo Onyemaechi (Owerri West), Kennedy Ibeh(Obowo), Eddy Obinna (Aboh Mbaise), Samuel Otuibe (Ahiazu Mbaise) and Pascal Okolie.
The lawmakers had defected from the Action Alliance (AA), People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
In a Suit No: FHC/OW/CS/20/2020, Mr Okedinachi asked the court to determine whether, upon proper interpretation of Section 109(1) (g) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), the defected lawmakers were not liable to vacate their seats as members of the Imo State House of Assembly having defected from their original political parties to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
In his reliefs, the lawyer is seeking an order of the court to declare the lawmakers’ seats vacant pursuant to 109 (1)(g) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
He is also praying the court to direct the affected lawmakers to return to the Imo State treasurym all salaries, allowances and benefits paid to them as members of the state House of Assembly.