Hours after a UK court committed him to prison for nine years and six months for organ harvesting, a Federal High Court sitting in Enugu refused to declare Senator Ike Ekweremadu’s seat at the upper chamber vacant.
The ruling followed a case with Suit no: FHC/CS/EN/171/2022 filed by Chief Sir OAU Onyeama. The petitioner went to court seeking an order to declare the Enugu West Senate position currently occupied by Senator Ike Ekweremadu vacant.
Onyema, a lawyer and politician who contested the PDP primary that produced Chief Ike Ekweremadu as Senate candidate in 2019 is of the view that following Ekweremadu’s incarceration in the UK, his seat should be declared vacant to provide the people of Enugu West the needed representation.
But in a ruling on Friday, the Judge said the case is defective as the petitioner ignored the three months window provided to initiate the pre-action notice in the Senate before filing the suit. In a ruling that lasted for over two hours, the judge also said that the petitioner lied when he said he came second in the primaries when in reality, he came 3rd.
Reacting to the ruling, the plaintiff, explained that the urgency of the matter made him not to go through the process of initiating a pre-action notice. “You can’t expect me to in a situation of emergency like this, give you three months’ notice to come and seat with you to represent the people when you seat every day. So, this is a special circumstance where time is of the essence.”
Barr. Onyeama promised to appeal the judgment which, he said, might be an academic exercise by the time the process is completed, stressing that the right of Enugu West people to be represented at the Senate shouldn’t be jeopardised.