An Abuja based lawyer, Barr. Iliya Ibn Aliyu has dragged Senator Godiya Akwashiki to the Federal High Court, seating in Lafia, seeking the court to direct the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to declare his seat vacant and conduct a fresh election for defecting to the Social Democratic Party (SDP).
Barr. Aliyu of Bougainville Solicitor, Garki, Abuja, in his application, is praying that the court issues an order compelling INEC to conduct elections on the seat of Senator Akwashiki for joining another political Party, SDP.
In the originating summons, order 3 rule 9 and order 9 rule 16 of the Federal High Court Civil Procedure Rules, 2019, filed on September 20, 2022, Barr. Aliyu prayed the court to issue an order directing INEC to conduct fresh election in Nasarawa North Senatorial District to refill the vacant seat of Senator Akwashiki for the “unexpired constitutional terms of office”.
The Abuja based lawyer is also praying the court to issue an order directing the senator “to refund to the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria all the salaries, emoluments, constituency allowances and other allowances paid to him from 24 June, 2022 untill the date of vacating his Senate seat as may be directed by the order of the court in the circumstances of this suit.”
The applicant/counsel further prayed the court to issue “an order directing the Nigeria Police Force to arrest Senator Akwashiki forthwith and prosecute him for illegally attending and/or participating in the Senate business activities and continue to parade himself as the Senator representing Nasarawa North Senatorial District.”
Barr. Aliyu, who cited section 68 (1)(g) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended said, Akwashiki lost his seat in the Senate the moment he left APC, the political Party, on whose platform he was elected to the National Assembly to another party SDP.
Recall that Senator Akwashiki, who is representing Nasarawa Nouth Senatorial District, was elected to the National Assembly in 2019 on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The senator who wants to return to the National Assembly come 2023, withdrew from the June 2022 APC primary elections siting illegal changes to the delegates list amongst other irregularities as his reason. Danladi Envulu-anza was eventually declared winner and is currently the APC Senatorial Candidate for Nasarawa North.
Senator Godiya Akwashiki who is currently representing Nasarawa North at the Senate, however defected to the Social Democratic Party (SDP) along with some of his supporters.
It would also be recalled that, Akwashiki was a member of the PDP, while serving as a member of the State House of Assembly. While in the house, he ditched the PDP for APC.
After hearing the suit filed by Barr. Aliyu on October 12, 2022, at the Federal High Court, Lafia, the presiding Judge, Justice Nehizena I. Afolabi however adjoined the matter for continuation of hearing in December 8, 2022.