20th January, 2016
People’s Democratic Party, (PDP), House of Representative for Ikeja Federal Constituency 1, Lagos state, Olakunle Mutiu Okunola, has filed a suit before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, southwest Nigeria, seeking the removal of All Progressives Congress’s (APC) representative member, James Abiodun Faleke, from the National Assembly, over double representation.
Okunola in a suit filed before the court is urging the court to declare that the nomination of Honourable James Abiodun Faleke, by APC, as its candidate for the House of Representatives election on March 28, 2015, representing the Ikeja Federal Constituency 1 of Lagos state, and his subsequent nomination by his party, APC, as deputy governorship candidate for the November 21, 2015, gubernatorial election of Kogi state, under the Ekinrin Ade Ward of Ijumu Local Government Area, Kogi State, during which his substituting membership of the House of Representative as a member representing Ikeja Federal Constituency 1, amount to multiple nomination, hence unconstitutional, null, void and of no effect whatsoever.
As such action is contrary to section 37 of the Electoral Act of 2010, as amended.
The plaintiff suing alongside his political party, PDP, also wants a court declaration that the transfer of Faleke’s membership from the Ikeja Federal Constituency 1 of Lagos state, to the Ekinrin-Ade Ward of Ijumu Local Government Area, Kogi state, by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, automatically terminates Faleke’s membership as the Ikeja Federal Constituency 1 of Lagos state, and consequently extinguishes Faleke’s continued representation of Ikeja Federal Constituency 1 of Lagos state in the House of Representative of the National Assembly under Section 68(1)(b) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended 2010.
Okunola also wants an order of the court compelling Honourable James Abiodun Faleke to vacate his seat as a member of the House of Representative of the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, representing Ikeja Federal Constituency 1, forthwith from the date of such transfer of membership and data by INEC and further declaration that Falake’s seat in the House of Representative is accordingly vacant.
An order of perpetual injunction restraining INEC from any further reversal or transfer of Faleke’s voting and membership data from Ekinrin-Ade Ward in Ijumu LGA of Kogi state to the Ikeja Federal Constituency 1 of Lagos state.
Joined as co-respondents in the suit are, APC and INEC as second and third respondents respectively.
During the hearing of the suit today, counsel to the plaintiffs, Barrister Kingsley Kezie, while moving and arguing an application for substitute service on the respondents, told the court of the inability of court’s bailiff to serve the processes of the court on Faleke and other respondents at their various addresses.
All efforts to serve the processes at Faleke’s residence situated at 24, Yetunde Morgan Avenue, Ojodu, Ikeja, has been futile. He therefore urged the court to grant the application for substitute service on the respondents.
In his ruling on the application for substitute service, Justice Abdulaziz M. Anka, refused the application to serve Faleke by substitute means, rather he ordered that Faleke should be served at his present residence in Kogi state. While the APC should be serve by substitute means.
The matter has been adjourned till January 26, 2016 for report of service.