The Federal High Court, sitting in Makurdi, has sacked a member of the Benue State House of Assembly, representing Oju 2 State Constituency, Mr. Mathew Ire, of the Peoples Democratic Party over illegal substitution of name.
The Presiding Judge, Justice Binta Nyako, on Wednesday ordered that Ire, who contested the PDP House of Assembly primaries on November 29, 2014 alongside the plaintiff, Agi Adigwu and Jairus Erube, the then incumbent Assembly member.
At the December party primaries, Ire, who was declared winner, scored 10 votes while Adigwu polled 11 votes and Erube got five votes. The party however handed the party flag to Ire and subsequently declared the PDP’s candidate.
He won the election and the Independently National Electoral Commission issued him a Certificate of Return. Adigwu had approached the Federal High Court to seek redress, praying the court to reverse the decision of the party concerning the outcome of the primary.
Justice Nyako ruled that it was illegal for the PDP to substite the name of the winner of the primaries and fielding Ire, who did not score the highest number of votes.
Nyako ordered that the PDP Assembly member, who had been inaugurated, be removed from the seat immediately. She also directed INEC to withdraw the Certificate of Return issued to Ire and issue the certificate to Adigwu, who should be sworn in.