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Supreme Court Sacks Lawmaker, Orders Refund Of All His Earnings





A sitting lawmaker has been axed by the Supreme Court as he is asked to return all his earnings so far.
The Supreme Court on Friday sacked Sopuluchukwu Ezeonwuka of the Peoples Democratic Party, representing Orumba North/South Federal Constituency of Anambra State in the House of Representatives, The Punch reports.
A five-man bench of the court held in a unanimous judgment that Ezeonwuka was not the winner of the party’s primary conducted ahead of the 2015 National Assembly election in his constituency.

Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, who read the lead judgment of the apex court, ordered that Ben Nwanwko, who won the primary, be sworn in to take Ezeonwuka’s place in the House and that Ezeonwuka should refund to the National Assembly within 90 days all monies collected by him by way of salaries and allowance since he took the seat.
The judge noted that Nwankwo’s name was wrongly substituted with the first respondent Ezeonwuka’s after he (Nwankwo) had obtained the nomination of the party to contest the election.
“It was at the point of being issued the Certificate of Return that he was confronted by a letter conveying the order of the trial court stopping that action,” she added.

She said, “The second respondent (Independent National Electoral Commission) is hereby ordered to issue Chief Nwankwo a Certificate of Return in respect of the National Assembly election held on March 28, 2015, forthwith.
“The first respondent (Ezeonwuka) is hereby ordered to vacate the seat forthwith. It is further ordered that Ezeonwuka shall refund to the National Assembly all monies collected by him by way of salaries and allowance since he took the seat within 90 days.
“And finally, a fine of N500,000 is awarded in favour of the appellant against the first respondent.”

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