SUPREME COURT SACKS BENUE REPS MEMBER

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The Supreme Court on Friday voided the election of Mr. Orker Jev into the National Assembly to represent Buruku Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives.
The apex court panel led by Justice Walter Nkanu ordered that fresh election be held within 90 days to fill the vacant seat.
Jev was elected into the House of Representatives on the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria (now the All Progressives Congress).
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the Court of Appeal in Makurdi which earlier ruled that Jev was not the valid candidate of the ACN in the 2011 election,
The court therefore ordered that Jev’s name be removed from the ballot papers and substituted with the name of the valid candidate, Serkar Iortyom, who was the first respondent in the suit.
Apart from Iortyom, other respondents in the appeal were the ACN (now APC) and the Independent National Electoral Commission.
“This appeal is devoid of merit; it is hereby accordingly dismissed. There must be a fresh election to elect a new member for the Buruku Federal Constituency in the National Assembly,” the apex court ruled.
It pointed out that it could not order Iyortom to be sworn in without an election as doing so would violate the provisions Section 141 of the Electoral Act which prohibits courts from declaring a winner of an election in its judgment.
But the apex court ordered Jev to pay N500,000 to each of the respondents except INEC.
Jev had appealed against the judgment of the Court of Appeal, which affirmed an order directing INEC to withdraw the certificate of return issued to him.
Iyortom had instituted his suit against the ACN, INEC and Jev at the Federal High Court alleging that his name was wrongfully substituted by his party with the name of Jev shortly before the 2011 general elections.
The Federal High Court in Makurdi had in its judgment ruled in favour of Iyortom on the grounds that the ACN was wrong substituted Sekav’s namw with that of Jev.
Source: Punch

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