By Kunle olasanmi, Abuja
The Supreme Court yesterday in two separate judgements sacked a Senator representing Taraba North senatorial district, Sani Abubakar Danladi, and a member representing Vandikiwa/Konshisha federal constituency of Benue State, Herman Hembe.
The apex court also gave the two lawmakers a period of 90 days to return all salaries and allowances they have collected so far.
In the case of the Taraba Senator, the court ordered INEC to issue certificate of return to Shuaibu Isa Lau as the Senator representing Taraba North, while in Benue, Mrs. Dorothy Mato is to be returned as the member representing Vandikiwa/Konshisha federal constituency in the House of Representatives.
Meanwhile, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Yusuf Ali and some other lawyers have hailed the decision of the Supreme Court especially on the aspect of money refund, saying it will curb unnecessary delay posed by politicians who are occupying positions illegally.
In the Taraba judgement, Shuaibu Isa Lau had appealed the decision of the Court of Appeal which upturned his victory during the primary that he was wrongfully substituted.
The same goes with the case of Mato from Benue who had approached the apex court to challenge the decision of the Court of Appeal which validated Hembe’s election.
The apex court also ordered INEC, to withdraw the certificate issued to the sacked lawmakers and issue a fresh certificate of return to Lau and Mato.
In a unanimous judgment on the Taraba senatorial seat, a five member panel of apex court held that “the appellant has the right to participate just like any other candidate in the primary and if he feels his right was infringed upon, he has the right to approach the court.
“From the totality of the appeal before this court, all the issues are resolved in favour of the appellant. His substitution at the primary election is null and void and since the appellant scored the highest number of votes, the only option is to declare the appellant as the winner of primary”, Justice Adamu Augie ruled.
The judge added: “This court hereby orders that the appellant be issued with the certificate of return and the respondent should immediately vacate the seat. He should return to the National Assembly all salaries and allowances received as a Senator within 90 days”.