A Federal High Court sitting in Asaba, has granted the prayer of a plaintiff, Edward Omaga, to a group, Anti-corruption and Integrity Forum to serve concurrent writ and Originating Summons on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), in Abuja
The group which appeared in court Monday is also praying the court to disqualify the sitting senator representing Delta north in the red chambers of the National Assembly (NASS), Barr Peter Nwaoboshi, from seeking re-election over alleged membership of a cult group and involvement in the murder of some motorcycle riders sometimes in 2013, in Ibusa community, Oshimili north local government area, Delta state.
The leadership of the group which dragged Nwaoboshi before the Federal High Court sitting noted that section 66 gives the criteria that could disqualify a person from contesting election into senatorial district in the country.
The suit FHC/ASB/CS/11/2019, brought before the court is on the gruesome murder of one Zakarie Saswed on July 20, 2013, among several other motorcycle operators, otherwise known as “Okada Riders”, allegedly murdered within Ibusa community between the month of June to July 2013, by a dreaded secret society known as First Trigger Boys (FTB), the case in which some of the arrested suspects purportedly mentioned Nwaoboshi, as their allege member and sponsor.
In their determination to get justice for the deceased victims, the group filed a suit at the Court, tagging Nwaoboshi as 1st defendant, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), as 2nd defendant, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), 3rd defendant, the Delta State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, 4th defendant while the Commissioner of Police, Delta State as 5th defendant in the case.
Speaking shortly after the court proceedings, presided over by Justice O. E Abang, Counsel to the plaintiff, Barr. Omaga Edward Esq. told newsmen that, Anti-Corruption and Integrity Forum is seeking the ultimate disqualification of Nwaoboshi from contesting INEC elections as his actions allegedly fall below the requirements of the Nigerian constitution to earn him a place in any elected office and equally, to hold to account, political office holders who engaged in nefarious activities to the detriment of their constituents and Nigeria citizens.
Omaga said: “This is a case that borders on constitutional matters as to the qualification to contest elections in Nigeria particularly, elections into senatorial districts. Sections 65 gives you the criteria that makes you to qualify, Sections 66 gives you the criteria that can disqualify the person from contesting such an election. It is in the view of this, that the Anti-Corruption and Integrity Forum has brought this matter before the court, to challenge the candidature of one person who is now a sitting Senator representing Delta North senatorial district and he seeks re-election.
“The point which they are making in this court is that, the man who is seeking re-election does not qualify to seek that re-election or to even seek any election in Nigeria on the ground that he is a member of a secret society, named First Trigger Boys. These statements were made by some young men who were arrested in 2013 over the killing of motorcycle riders otherwise called Okada riders in Ibusa community in Delta State and then made confessions that, this person, ‘Senator Peter Nwaoboshi’ gave them two shot guns, that he is also a member of their secret society. The Police took that matter up, investigated it to a level, filed cases in court and stopped whatever they were doing.
“The Commissioner of Police is a party to this matter, the Attorney General to the state is also a party to this matter and we are saying as lawyers to the group, that feels that the Nigeria democracy has to have some level of integrity, credibility and people should believe in it. You don’t just wake up and contest elections when you are not supposed to contest. It is on that ground that they went to court and we are here to say, let that man be disqualified from the election forthwith but in the event that he contests, our order again is praying that, his seat be vacated for who so ever that is entitled to take it.
“This case had been filed in Abuja in November 2018 but we withdrew it because we found that the whole thing happened in Delta state here. We couldn’t had been in Abuja and it was in that wisdom that the suit is being heard in Asaba”, he disclosed further”.
While seeking for the disqualification of Nwaoboshi’s candidature for the 2019 elections, by INEC, the group also questioned the actions of PDP in presenting a candidate whose case at the Akwukwu-Igbo Judicial Division of the High Court of Justice, with charge No: O/21c/2013 – THE STATE vs. UBA NONSO Ors demands reopening by the Attorney General of the State, calling the police to effect the re-arrest the 1st defendant with a view of carrying out proper investigation and prosecution.
In the ‘Originating Summons’, unless Nwaoboshi clears himself from the suit filed against him, he might among other consequences, forfeit his 2019 senatorial ambition as PDP’s candidate in February 16th election.
Also speaking, secretary to the group, Kelly Adadiran Raymond, hinted that their interest in the case is the general interest of Nigerians as they have in different times in past waded into matters of this nature.
He also disclosed that in 2013, the case was brought before a court but it was shelved six years ago, following improper hearing insisting that they are out to know why the case took such dimension in the past, “it is not about it been politically motivated case. We brought now just to validate it because that case didn’t have a good ending and was not properly adjudged”, he added.
Meanwhile, there was no legal representation for Nwaoboshi at the court just as efforts to reach his media adviser at press time, one Andy, were unsuccessful as his mobile line was switched off.
The case was adjourned to February 5th, 2019, for further hearing.