Court recalls sacked Akwa Ibom House of Assembly members

A Federal High Court sitting in Uyo on Monday, May 6, 2019, ordered the immediate recall of Members of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly whose seats were declared vacant by the Speaker, Hon Onofiok Luke.

The Court also ruled that their sack by the Speaker was illegal, null and void and therefore ordered their immediate reinstatement.

It would be recalled that the Speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Hon Onofiok Luke had on November 19, 2018, declared the seats of Hon Nse Ntuen, Hon Victor Udofia, Hon Idongesit Ituen, Hon Gabriel Toby and Hon Otobong Ndem vacant following their defection to the All Progressives Congress.

Ruling in the suit, FHC/UY/CS/171, Hon. Justice F. O. Riman ordered the management of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly to pay the entitlements of the affected lawmakers from the date it was stopped till date.

Justice Riman also ruled that the affected lawmakers should be allowed access to their offices, chambers and legislative proceedings.

The Judge who said the sack of the members who defected to the APC was illegal, ruled that they were still bonafide members of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly until otherwise ruled by the court.

According to the Judge, the Speaker acted illegally by declaring the seats of the lawmakers vacant while the matter was still pending in Court and ruled that the action of the Speaker on November 19, 2018 as it affected the lawmakers who defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC) was null and void and of no consequence.

Similar rulings are also being expected in similar suits pending before the same Judge.