The Federal High Court Abuja, on Wednesday adjourned hearing in a suit seeking the removal of Hope Uzodimma of Imo West Senatorial Constituency from the Senate. Ahmed Mohammed, the presiding Judge adjourned the suit till June 13 for hearing.
The suit was filed by an Abuja based political activist and self acclaimed whistleblower, Ebubeagu Ekenulo, challenging the qualification of Uzodimma to be in the Senate.
Respondents in the suit are the Senate (1st respondent), President of the Senate (2nd respondent), Peoples Democratic Party (3rd respondent), and Independent National Electoral Commission (4th respondent).
Ekenulo is praying for an order citing Uzodimma for trial for perjury, lying under oath that he possessed school certificate when he contested the 2011 Senatorial election.
He is also praying for an order restraining the 4th defendant (INEC) from allowing Uzodimma to contest any election recognised by the 1999 Constitution for not possessing school certificate.
He is asking the court to make an order compelling the Senate and Senate President to bar Uzodimma from participating in the business of the upper chamber for not possessing the entry qualification.
More so, Ekenulo is seeking the court’s order compelling Uzodimma to vacate his office as Senator for not possessing the entry qualification thereto.
Ekenulo also wants a declaration, that Uzodimma who has no school certificate cannot contest any election recognised by the 1999 Constitution.
In a 17-paragraph affidavit personally deposed to by Ekenulo, he alleged that Uzodimma was not qualified to be in the Senate as he did not have school certificate when he contested the senatorial election in 2011.
“Uzodimma granted interview to Thisday Newspaper of Sunday, June 24, 2012, wherein he claimed among other things that he attended Government Secondary School, Etche in Rivers state and got his O’ levels WAEC there.
“He also claimed he got admission into the Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO) and studied Maritime Technology at the HND level and that he obtained a Masters Degree in Maritime Technology from Washington University in 1998.
“I instructed my solicitors to apply to the Principal of Government Secondary School Etche, Rivers state for clarification of the information and the Principal replied my solicitor’s letter.
“The reply stated that Uzodimma attended Government Secondary School, Etche from 1978 to 1981 when he dropped out after class 3 and did not sit for West African Examination Council (WAEC).
“The Registrar of FUTO refused to oblige me with the clarification sought and upon the said refusal, i also instructed my solicitors to issue FUTO and the Registrar notice to apply for criminal prosecution against them,’’ Ekenulo said.
Counsel to Ekenulo, K.C Nwufor informed the court that both plaintiff and respondents’ lawyers met and had agreed that the matter be shifted to a later date for hearing.
The plea was granted, and the case was consequently adjourned to June 13 for hearing.