A Federal High Court sitting in Abakaliki, Ebonyi state, has sacked the lawmaker representing Ebonyi South senatorial zone at the Senate, Sonni Ogbuoji.
He was sacked for defecting from the party he was elected, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The suit was filed by Evo Ogbonnaya Anegu, Oti Ama Ude, Uche Richard Ajali, Una Sunday Okoro and Simon Ajali Ogbadu for themselves and on behalf of the teaming members of the PDP in Ebonyi South Senatorial district.
The PDP members, who added INEC as second respondent, asked the court to declare the senator’s seat vacant for defecting to the APC when there was no crisis or division in the PDP and to return all the money that may have been paid to him since January 2018, when he defected from PDP to APC.
The court immediately asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw the certificate of return issued to him.
It also ordered Ogbuoji to vacate his seat, while also asking INEC to conduct a fresh election to fill the seat. New Telegraph reports.
According to Justice Akintola Aluko, the lawmaker violated section 68(1)g of the 1999 constitution by defecting from the party under whose platform he was elected.
In his ruling, the judge declared: “By the evidence before me, I find that the 1st defendant is guilty of unholy political flirtation and coquetry which the makers and drafters of the constitution resolved to outlaw by the enactment of section 68(1)g of the constitution.
The sum of N500,000 was awarded in favour of the plaintiff and against the 1st defendant.