The Appeal Court in Makurdi on Friday has given a judgement in favour of Joseph Boko and ordered the immediate sack of Benjamin Nungwa, the occupant of the seat.
Both Boko and Nungwa contested the APC primary of Kwande West legislative seat in the state house of assembly in April 2015, which was won by Boko.
Dissatisfied with the conduct of the primary, Nungwa, sent a petition concerning the outcome of the primary to the APC National Secretariat for arbitration.
Concise gathered that an Arbitration Panel was set up by the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party to resolve the disputed primary election.
The appellant, who dragged Nungwa, the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) and joined the APC in the matter, had averred that the said panel, which claimed to have held sittings in Makurdi, never invited him but took decisions from its purported sittings that had adverse effects on him.
He, therefore, prayed the court to declare that the panel was not competent to sit since it was not in the first instance, properly constituted.
Bello averred that the panel had no chairman and secretary and therefore, did not form a quorum to take decisions. He also argued that by excluding him from its proceedings, his right of fair hearing was infringed upon.
The appellant also averred that he was properly nominated as the party’s candidate for the election and prayed the court to order Nungwa to relinquish the seat he was occupying to him.
Boko had also argued that many weeks after the deadline for substitution of candidates at INEC had already closed, his name was illegally substituted with that of Nungwa.
However in her judgment, Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court Makurdi, affirmed Nungwa as the APC’s candidate and cited the decision of the National Working Committee of the party as the basis.
Dissatisfied with the judgment, Boko approached the Supreme Court, which in an unanimous judgement, read by Justice Joseph Ekanem and supported by Presiding Judge, Justice Hannatu Sankey, on Friday in Makurdi, the court overturned the judgment of the Federal High Court, which affirmed Nungwa as the winner of the legislative seat.
The court, therefore, ordered the immediate sack of Nungwa, who was described as “an illegal occupant of the Kwande West legislative seat’’.