The Federal High Court, sitting in Asaba, has sacked the Hon. Alphonsus Ojo, member representing Ukwuani constituency at the Delta state House of Assembly, directing that the seat be henceforth declared vacant, pending a fresh election.
Recall that Hon. Ojo who was elected to represent his constituency at the April 26, 2011 election on the platform of the Democratic Peoples Party, DPP later dumped it for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2012.
But the DPP and Mr. Chukwuma Dafikpaku dragged the lawmaker before the court, claiming that his action was against the provisions of Section 109 (1) g and (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended and prayed the court to declare the seat vacant.
The court presided over by Justice C. M. A. Olatoregun-Isiola therefore on Friday, 01, 2013 declared that the seat presently occupied by Hon. Alphonsus Ojo (1st Defendant) in a suit (FHC/ASB/CS/129/12) brought before it by one Mr. Chukwuma Dafikpaku (Plaintiff).
The Delta State House of Assembly, the Speaker of the House and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were also joined as defendants in the suit.
Justice Olatoregun-Isiola therefore directed the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Victor Ochei (2nd defendant) to declare the seat vacant under mandatory responsibility and in pursuant to Section 109 (1g) and (2) of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.
In his reaction to the judgement, Hon. Ojo said he remained the bonafide, elected representative of his constituent, and urged the people of Ukwuani constituency to remain calm, adding that appropriate legal actions would be taken in due course.
The court also directed the 4th defendant (INEC) to immediately commence the process of conducting fresh elections into the Ukwuani constituency seat at the Delta State House of Assembly.
“My team of legal experts are reviewing the judgement and advise on the appropriate step to take regarding appealing the judgement.”
According to him, the ruling would not distract him from performing his legitimate legislative duties, adding that the verdict would be appealed.