The Supreme Court on Friday sacked Herman Hembe (Benue/APC), and ordered him to refund salaries allowances he collected while in the House of Representatives within 90 days. Hembe was kicked out of the lower legislative chamber a day after the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara and friends joined him to mark his 40th birthday.
The court also ordered that he be replaced with Dorothy Mato.
The apex court gave the order after it upheld the appeal filed by Mato against the endorsement of Hembe’s election by the Court of Appeal, Makurdi.
In the lead judgment prepared by Justice Walter Onneghen and delivered by Justice Amina Augie, the court held that Mato was the winner of the March 2015 general election with respect to Vandeikya/Konshisha Federal Constituency.
“I hereby declare that the plaintiff/appellant was the winner of the primary election of the All Progressives Congress (APC), held from December 7 to December 10, 2014.
“I declare that the plaintiff/appellant was the winner of the general election of March 28, 2015 with respect to Vandeikya/Konshisha Federal Constituency of Benue, as candidate of the APC,” Augie ruled.
The court ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to immediately withdraw the certificate of return issued to Hembe and issue same to Mato.
It further ordered the Speaker or Clerk of the House of Representatives to swear-in Mato as the member representing Vandeikya/Konshisha Federal Constituency of Benue.
Hembe was elected into the House of Representatives in 2007 on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
He was re-elected in 2011 on the platform of the PDP, but defected to the APC in 2015 where he won his bid for a third term.