Swear In Eruaga Or Go To Jail, Appeal Court Orders Edo Speaker

BENIN—The Court of Appeal sitting in Benin, Edo State, has ordered the Speaker of Edo State House of Assembly, Mr. Victor Edobor, to immediately swear in Mr. Sylvanus Eruaga, of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, as a member representing Etsako West 11 constituency in the state legislature or be guilty of contempt of the court and liable to be committed to prison.

It will be recalled that the appellate court in its judgment on December 19, 2015, in the appeal by Mr. Eruaga against the judgment of the lower tribunal, declared him the winner of the state House of Assembly election held on April 11, 2015.

It then directed the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to withdraw the certificate of return it earlier issued to Dr. Yakubu Marughu, of All Progressives Congress, APC, who was declared the winner of the election and issued the appellant a certificate of return.

In Form 48 titled “notice of consequences of disobedience of court order,” filed against the Speaker and the Clerk of the Edo State House of Assembly, Mr. Lawson Ugiabe stated: “Take notice that unless you obey the directions contained in the judgment/order of this court dated December 19, 2015 (enrolled order attached) by swearing in the appellant/judgment creditor as the member to represent Etsako West Constituency 11 in the Edo State House of Assembly, you will be guilty of contempt of this court and will be liable to be committed to prison.”

The appellate court after listening to counsel to Mr. Eruaga, Mr. Dele Igbinedion, in a motion ex-parte, also ordered the bailiff of the court to serve the Form 48 and all other processes pursuant thereto, including the subsequent Form 49, on the Speaker and the Clerk of Edo State House of Assembly by substituted means, to wit: “by publication of the said form in a newspaper with nationwide circulation.

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