16 November 2018

Nigeria: Akwa Ibom Assembly Bars Sacked Lawmaker From Attending Sitting

The speaker, Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Onofiok Luke, has received the court judgment sacking a state lawmaker who defected from the People's Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC), the House of Assembly has said.

The sacked lawmaker, Idongesit Ituen, represented the Itu state constituency.

Mr Ituen had filed a suit in September at a federal high court in Uyo to pre-empt the speaker of the assembly from declaring his seat vacant after his defection.

But the court, in its judgment, dismissed the main suit and granted all the reliefs sought by the speaker, which included an order of the court restraining the speaker from further recognition of Mr Ituen as a member of the assembly.

"The Speaker of the Akwa Ibom state House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. (Barr.) Onofiok Luke, was this morning served with an enrolled order conveying the judgement of the Federal High Court of Nigeria restraining him from further recognising Hon. Idongesit Ituen as a member of the Akwa Ibom state House of Assembly," the spokesperson for Mr Luke, Kufre Okon, said in a statement on Thursday.

"Being a declarative judgement, the Honourable Speaker wishes therefore, to state clearly that as a law abiding citizen, a lawmaker and a lawyer, he has abided by the court order."

In effect, the speaker highlighted that Mr Ituen, going by the judgment of the court, has ceased to be a member of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, and therefore not welcome in the assembly.

PREMIUM TIMES could not confirm if the position of the House has been communicated to Mr Ituen.

Mr Ituen did not respond to calls and text message from PREMIUM TIMES.

Also, the speaker's spokesperson, Mr Okon, did not respond to calls and text message from this paper.

The lawyer to the sacked lawmaker had told PREMIUM TIMES, Wednesday, his client was about to file an appeal against the judgment, as well as for a stay of execution.


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