Court quashes suspension of four Imo Assembly members
An Imo High Court on Monday quashed the suspension of four members of the State House of Assembly, describing the suspension as unconstitutional.
The court also jointly awarded the applicants, Dr Uche Oguwuike (Ikeduru APC), Chiji Collins (Isiala Mbano APC), Israel Nnataraonye (Mbaitoli) and Nkenna Nzeruo (Oru East APC) the sum of eight million naira in damages and 100,000 in legal fees.
Justice Goddy Anunihu in his ruling on the matter also directed the Speaker of the House and the Imo House of Assembly who were the first and second respondents to pay the applicants their salaries, allowances and emoluments for the period they were suspended.
Anunihu said that the allegations levelled against the four suspended members were vague, adding that the applicants were not given a chance to clear the allegations.
He ruled that the House should have deferred the matter to hear from the affected members before deciding to suspend them.
He also ruled that the suspension of the members was a gross violation of the rights of the constituents of the suspended members and violated their rights of to fair hearing.
Reacting to the ruling, the counsel to the applicants, Barr Mike Ohanaka said the ruling was well thought out and very just.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the four lawmakers, were suspended by the assembly on June 27, over alleged unparliamentary conduct.
The Suspension followed a motion moved by the Majority Leader of the House, Mr Lugard Osuji (APC Owerri Municipal) and seconded by Mr Lawman Duruji calling for the immediate suspension or the applicants for alleged unparliamentary conduct.