An Abuja High Court sitting at Apo, Wednesday, ordered accelerated hearing of a suit seeking to sack a member of the House of Representatives over an allegation that he does not possess the First School Leaving Certificate.
Justice Valentine Ashi okayed expeditious hearing of the suit that was lodged against Chukwuegbo Gregory by the All Progressives Congress, APC, and Mr. Nelson Arum, even as he directed the service of hearing notice on the Defendant to enable him to appear in court on January 29.
Specifically, the Plaintiffs, in the suit marked FCT/CV/611/18, alleged that the lawmaker representing Enugu North/South Federal Constituency on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, neither sat for the General Certificate of Education (GCE) qualifying examination, nor qualified for the award of a degree certificate by Enugu State University of Science and Technology, ESUT.
The Plaintiffs told the court that the Defendant was bereft of the requisite constitutional qualifications to contest and win election into the House of Representatives.
It is their contention that the School Leaving Certificate and Testimonial No. 00287 issued to the lawmaker by the College of the Immaculate Conception Enugu on December 2002, could not pass as a substitute for First School Leaving Certificate or its equivalent within the contemplation of section 65(2) (a) of the 1999 constitution.
The Plaintiffs further supplied the court with records of their findings from the West African Examination Council, WAEC.
According to them, “our records show that Chukwuegbo Oforbuike G who claimed to have sat for GCE Ordinary level in June 1990 with index No 04832110 did not sit for the examination. Rather available records with us show that one Igbokwe Hyginus A. with index No 04832110 sat for the said examination.
“The details of Mr. Igbokwe Hyginus performance are as follows: (1) English Language C6 and (2) Mathematics A3.”
Joined as defendants in the suit the Plaintiffs filed through their lawyer, Mr. Kevin Uzozie, are the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, PDP, ESUT and the Attorney-General of the Federation.
The Plaintiffs are praying the court for a declaration that the lawmaker was not qualified to have contested, won and sat in the chambers of the Federal House of Representatives, representing Enugu North/ South for 2015.
“An order of court directing the Independent National Electoral Commission (1st defendant) to expunge and cancel the name of Chukwuegbo Gregory (5th defendant) from the list of contestants in the 2019 general elections for Enugu North/ South Federal Constituency.
“An order directing the lawmaker to within 30 days of the judgment refund all the salaries and allowances, entitlements/emoluments which accrued to him whilst wrongly sitting as a member of the Federal House of Representatives representing Enugu North /South Federal Constituency and pay same back to the Attorney General of the Federation or the Federal government.
“An order of court directing the Enugu State University of Science and Technology to, within seven days of the judgment of the Court, to recall, recover and cancel the Degree Certificate No 39567 having been issued by it to the lawmaker vide statement of degree result dated October 17 2003 reference ESUT/96/14009 based on a false school Certificate No. 1486869”.
Besides, the plaintiffs want the court to determine, “Whether the School Leaving Certificate and Testimonial No. 00287 issued by the College of the Immaculate Conception Enugu on the 3rd day of December 2002 amounts to school Certificate level or its equivalent within the contemplation of section 65(2) (a) of the 1999 constitution as amended that can be used by the 5th Defendant as a requisite qualification to enable the 5th Defendant contest and vie for the 2019 election.
“Whether the 3rd defendant namely Enugu State University of Science and Technology can be compelled to recall, recover and cancel the degree certificate No.39567 having been issued to the 5th Defendant video statement of degree result dated 17th October 2003 reference ESUT/96/14009 based on a false Certificate No. 1486869.
Likewise, “Whether this court ought to direct the 1st defendant (Independent National Electoral Commission) to expunge and cancel the name of the 5th Defendant from the list of contestants in the 2019 general election for the seat/ membership of the Federal House of Representatives for the Enugu North/South Federal Constituency.”