The Court of Appeal in Kaduna has sacked the House Leader, Alhassan Doguwa.
According to the Daily Nigerian newspaper, the appellate court in a unanimous judgement nullified the entire election in the two local government areas Mr Doguwa represents.
The ranking lawmaker represents Tudunwada/Doguwa Federal Constituency.
The court, in a judgement delivered by Oludotun Adefope-Okojie, ordered fresh elections in the constituency.
The sack occurs days after another House of Reps member from Kano, Abdulmumin Jibrin, was also sacked by the appeal court.
Just like Mr Doguwa, the court ordered a fresh election in the two local governments of Kiru and Bebeji which constitutes Mr Jibrin’s federal constituency.
Journey to justice
The National Assembly election tribunal had dismissed a petition filed by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), Yusha’u Salisu, against Mr Doguwa’s election for failure to prove allegations of irregularities and over-voting in the election.
But the Court of Appeal judges said they wondered how the tribunal arrived at the conclusion that PDP and its candidate had failed to prove their case.
While setting aside the tribunal judgement, the court nullified the entire election in the two local government areas Mr Doguwa represents, saying the whole process was marred by irregularities.
The appellate court held that the entire election could not stand as Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had omitted other parties from the final declaration of the result.
The court said INEC made a ‘substantial breach’ by writing the results of only two of the 53 parties that participated in the election in Form EC 8 (II) E.
The court therefore ordered INEC to conduct fresh election within 90 days in the entire constituency.
End of the road for ‘House Leader’?
Mr. Doguwa emerged as the house majority leader at the beginning of the ninth assembly after a consensus by the North-West caucus of the house.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) had announced its decision to zone the position to the North-West.
Mr Doguwa served as Chief Whip in the eight assembly, led by former speaker Yakubu Dogara.
Before his sack, he was one of the oldest members of the house, having been elected for a fifth term. He was first elected in the short-lived Fourth Republic in 1993.
It is not yet clear if Mr. Doguwa’s position as House Leader would be filled by another lawmaker or would be left vacant till the outcome of the fresh election is determined.
When contacted to comment on the possibility of announcing a new leader, Lanre Lasisi, spokesperson to the Speaker did not respond to phone calls.