Supreme Court dashes hope of sacked Benue legislator to reclaim seat

Supreme Court of Nigeria
Supreme Court of Nigeria

The Supreme Court on Thursday struck out two applications by a sacked Benue legislator, Benjamin Nungwa, to reclaim his seat in the State House of Assembly on grounds of incompetence.

In one of the motions, Mr Nungwa sought to set aside an Appeal Court judgment that sacked him as the Kwande West State Constituency representative.

The second application, also struck out by the court, was a motion seeking leave of court to appeal the judgment that sacked him as a state lawmaker.

The apex court presided over by Justice Olabode Rhodes-Vivo upheld the arguments of respondent’s counsel, Douglas Pepe, that all applications were incompetent and could not stand in court.

The judge agreed that the particulars of the judgment the appellant sought to appeal were not contained in the application before the court.

He, therefore, struck them out for being incompetent.

Mr Pepe had in his submissions before the apex court averred that the application seeking stay of judgment was already before an appeal court in Makurdi, while the other seeking leave to appeal the appeal court judgment that sacked him was filed late.

Responding to the arguments, appellants’ counsel, L.A Izabi, insisted that the application for stay of judgment was not an abuse of court process, arguing that he had already withdrawn that of the Appeal Court.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Court of Appeal delivered the verdict that sacked Mr Nungwa as a state legislator on September 2, in Makurdi.

It upturned the judgment of the Federal High Court, Makurdi that previously affirmed him as the winner of Kwande West legislative seat.

The court ordered Mr Nungwa to refund all monies earned during the period he occupied the legislative seat to Joseph Boko whom it acknowledged as the rightful occupant of the seat.

The court also ordered the leadership of the Benue House of Assembly to immediately swear in Mr Boko as a replacement of Mr Nungwa.

NAN recalls that the matter, which lasted more than three years, traversed courts of different judicial jurisdictions before justice was eventually served the litigant.

The litigant’s claim had been unlawful substitution as a candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the Kwande West State Constituency election.

Both Messrs Nungwa and Boko are members of the APC.


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