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An Abuja Federal High Court on Monday sacked two members of the House of Representatives from Enugu State for alleged wrongful emergence as flagbearers of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the 2015 general elections. The affected lawmakers are Stella Ngwu from Igbo-Etiti and Uzo-Uwani Federal Constituency, and Dennis Agbo from Igbo-Eze North and Udenu Federal Constituency. Two other members of the party, Gabriel Okafor and Chijioke Ugwu, had approached the court after PDP conducted its primaries in December 2014, ahead of the 2015 general elections. They argued in separate suits later merged by the court that Stella Ngwu and Denis Agbo’s emergence as flagbearers of the party was wrong, since they were not elected delegates to represent the party at the November 1 congress held in 2014.

The PDP and its National Working Committee were the 1st and 2nd defendants in the suits, while the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was the 3rd defendant. Ms. Ngwu and Mr. Agbo were the 4th defendants in the two separate suits. The trial judge, Okon Abang, held that the emergence of Ms. Ngwu and Mr. Agbo was unlawful. He ordered them to vacate their offices and return to the treasury of the National Assembly all monies they had collected by way of salaries and allowances since they resumed office in the House. The judge ruled that Mr. Okafor was the rightful winner of the Igbo-Etiti/Uzo-Uwani Federal Constituency seat election, and Mr. Chijioke Ugwu won the Egbo-Eze North/Udenu Federal Constituency, Enugu State in 2015. He ordered INEC to immediately issue certificates of return to Messrs. Okafor and Ugwu respectively. He also awarded the sum of N100, 000 as cost against the defendants in favour of the plaintiff. The sacked lawmakers are expected to appeal the ruling and the House of Representatives may not enforce the judgement until appeals are exhausted. 

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