Suit Seeking Uzodimma’s Sack From Senate Fixed For May 24
A political activist and self acclaimed whistleblower, Nze Ebubeagu Ekenulo has approached the Federal High Court Abuja for relisting of a suit he filed in 2014 challenging the qualification of Senator Hope Uzodimma, representing Imo West Senatorial zone in the National Assembly.
Defendants in the suit are the Senate, the President of Senate, Peoples Democratic Party, INEC and Senator Hope Uzodimma, 1st to 5th defendants respectively.
Specifically, Ekenulo, relying upon proper reading and interpretation of Sections 57, 68(1)(b) and Section 65(2)(a) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, wants to know whether the 5th defendant (Uzodimma) “who had no School certificate when he contested in 2011 election can continue to be a member of the Senate.
Among other questions, the plaintiff wants the court to answer whether, “upon proper reading and interpretation of Sections 57, 68(1)(b) and Section 65(2)(a) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, the 5th defendant (Uzodimma) who had no School certificate can contest any election recognized by the 1999 Constitution.
At yesterday’s sitting, the plaintiff’s counsel, K.C Nwufor SAN told the presiding judge, Justice Ahmed Mohammed that he has filed an application dated March 10, 2017 seeking to relist the suit.
Uzodimma was not in court and no lawyer announced appearance on his behalf.
In view of this, the court said for the benefit of doubt, hearing notices should be served on Uzodimma and the other defendants.
Consequently, the matter was adjourned to May 24.
By the suit marked FHC/Abj/CS/769/2014, the plaintiff is praying for an order citing Uzodimma for trial for perjury for lying under oath that he possessed school certificate when he contested the 2011 senatorial election.
“An order of court restraining the 4th defendant (INEC) from allowing Uzodimma to contest any election recognized by the 1999 Constitution for not possessing school certificate.
The plaintiff is asking the court to make an order compelling the 1st (Senate) and 2nd (Senate President) defendants to bar Uzodimma from participating in the business of the Senate for not possessing the entry qualification into the Senate.
More so, Ekenulo is seeking the court’s order compelling Uzodimma to vacate his office as Senator for not possessing the entry qualification thereto.
In addition, the plaintiff wants a declaration that Uzodimma who has no school certificate cannot contest any election recognized by the 1999 Constitution.
In a 17-paragraph affidavit personally deposed to by Ekenulo, he alleged that “the 5th defendant (Uzodimma) is not qualified to be in the Senate; he does not have school certificate when he contested the senatorial election in 2011.
“The 5th defendant granted interview to Thisday newspaper of Sunday, June 24, 2012, wherein he claimed among other things that he attended Government Secondary School Etche in Rivers state and got his O’levels WAEC there; that he got admission into the Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO) and studied Maritime Technology at the HND level; and that he obtained a Masters Degree in Maritime Technology from Washington University in 1998, the affidavit stated.
“I instructed my solicitors to apply to the Principal of Government Secondary School Etche, Rivers state for clarification of the information and the Principal replied my solicitor’s letter and stated that the 5th defendant attended Government Secondary School Etche from 1978 to 1981 when he dropped out after class 3 and did not sit for West African School Certificate (WASC), Ekenulo claimed.
“The Registrar of FUTO refused to oblige me with the clarification sought and upon the said refusal, I also instructed my solicitors to issue FUTO and the Registrar notice to apply for criminal prosecution against them.
“Upon the said refusal of the FUTO, I also instructed my solicitors to write the National Universities Commission to ascertain whether FUTO is accredited to award HND degrees and the NUC replied my solicitors and stated that FUTO is not approved by the NUC to award HND in any programme, Ekenulo stated.