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Court nullifies suspension of lawmakers, awards N8m against Okorocha

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A high court in Imo State on Monday declared as null and void the suspension of five members of the state House of Assembly.

The presiding justice, Goddy Anunihu, who declared the processes that led to the indefinite suspension of the five lawmakers as “putting the horse before the cart” awarded N8m as cost against the three defendants.

 

The defendants in the suit instituted by the embattled lawmakers are the Imo State House of Assembly, the Speaker, Acho Ihim, and the Governor of the state, Rochas Okorocha.

The embattled lawmakers are Chiiji Collins, Israel Nnataraoye, Nkenna Nzerue, Uche Oguwuike and Donatus Onuigwe.

They represent Isiala Mbano, Mbaitoli, Ikeduru, Oru-East and Oru-West state constituencies.

 

The lawmakers were suspended in July by their colleagues in what the Speaker described as “unparliamentary conducts.”

They were suspended during the build-up that led to the impeachment of the state Deputy Governor, Eze Madumere.

The court had since reinstated Madumere.

The presiding justice who tongue-lashed the legislature for acting against the law, faulted the setting up of a team to investigate the allegations against the now reinstated lawmakers.

 

Anunihu said based on the evidence before him, the panel was set up even before the “purported indefinite suspension.”

One of the reinstated lawmakers, Nnataraonye, who spoke to our correspondent on the phone shortly after the judgment was delivered, said, “I am in my office now. I have moved in and resumed duties immediately. This is victory for democracy and it shows that our judicial system is a place of justice.”

 

Punch 

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