Mon, Oct

Organ Harvesting: Declare Ekweremadu Seat Vacant Now – Lawyer Tells Court


An Enugu-based lawyer, Ogochukwu Onyema, who is also a constituency member of Senator Ike Ekweremadu has approached a High court demanding that the former Deputy Senate President seat be declared vacant. Ekeremadu is a current serving Senator for Enugu West Senatorial district who is currently facing trial in the United Kingdom court over alleged organ harvesting and human trafficking. According to Onyema, there is no representation of his Senatorial district in the National Assembly, and cannot continue like that since there is no known date for Ekwerenmadu's release from detention.

In a legal proceeding, a memo marked FHC/EN/CS/7/2022 filed at the Federal High Court, Enugu, Onyema prayed the court “to command and mandate” the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, and PDP to “nominate, and forward” his name to the National Assembly “as a replacement” for Ekweremadu. 

He also prayed that the court should direct the National Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Mahmud Yakubu, to revoke the certificate of return issued to Ekwerenmadu and issue a fresh certificate of return to him as a replacement.
Ekweremadu during the PDP senatorial primary election that took place at Awgu, Enugu State, on October 2, 2018, scored 690 votes to return him the winner, flowing his rivals, Mr. Isaac Okah, who polled 84 votes, and Onyema who polled 61 votes to come a distant third. 

In the originating summon, Onyema prayed the court to determine among others; “Whether it is the intendment and contemplation of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999) as amended 2018; the Senate Standing Orders 2015 as amended; and the Senate Legislative Calendar 2022, that the seat of Enugu West Senatorial District in the 9th Senate will be declared vacant by default, if the Senator representing, without just cause absent from sittings of the Senate for a period amounting in the aggregate to more than one-third of the total number of days during which the Senate meets in one year, which is one-third of 181. 

“Whether by virtue of the continuous absence of the 3rd defendant (Ekweremadu) from the Senate since June 22, 2022, or days prior (when he last attended the sitting of the Senate), till the date of adaptation of this Summons, or any other date thereafter, it could be said that the 3rd defendant is still validly representing the plaintiff (Onyema) and Enugu West Senatorial District, as provided by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and the Senate Standing Order 2015 as amended, in Nigeria Senate. 

“Whether going by the heinous allegations leveled against the 3rd defendant and his incarceration at the United Kingdom, Wandsworth Prison, since around 22nd day of June 2022 up till the date of adoption of this Summons, the 3rd defendant can be said to have defaulted and be away from representing the plaintiff and Enugu West Senatorial District in the House of Senate, for no just cause, as provided for in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999) as amended in 2018. 

“Whether by virtue of the 3rd defendant’s travails, which was not caused by the plaintiff or any of his constituents, and going by the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999) as amended, the Senate Standing Order 2015 as amended, it is wise and best, for the 3rd defendant to honorably agree that he has defaulted in representation, withdraw from his position, and mandating the 1st and second defendants (the Senate President and the Senate) to declare his position vacant by default, and instantly communicate same to 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th defendants (Clark to the National Assembly, Dr. Ayu, PDP, Prof. Yakubu, and INEC) for appropriate and timeouts actions, of his replacement with the plaintiff, by the 5th and 6th defendants, while Certificate of Return to be issued to the Plaintiff by the 7th and 8th defendants.”