Court strikes out suit challenging suspension of Ondo lawmaker
Success Torhukerhijo, a lawmaker for Ondo State's Ese-Odo Constituency, tried unsuccessfully to overturn his expulsion from the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the subsequent determination that his seat in the House of Assembly was vacant when the Federal High Court in Lagos dismissed his lawsuit.
His seat had been declared vacant by the Ondo State House of Assembly due to alleged anti-party conduct.
Unhappy, he went to the court and urgently requested that the case be heard during the court vacation.
The applicant filed the lawsuit under the case number FHC/AK/CS/95/2022 as the only plaintiff, with the First to Fourth Respondents being the Speaker, Ondo State House of Assembly, Ondo State House of Assembly, APC, and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
In his originating move on notice dated 11/8/2022, which was submitted on August 12, 2022, he made his claims.
An elected member of the Ondo State House of Assembly named Torhukerhijo accused the 1st and 3rd respondents of expelling him from the 3rd Respondent in violation of the constitution and of declaring his seat vacant without providing him with a fair hearing.
The petitioner claimed that the procedure leading to his expulsion violated his right to a fair hearing under section 36(1) of the Constitution.
Attorney Torhukerhijo spoke for himself, and the third respondent, Babatunde Esan handled the brief of B. A. Aderosin.
Dismissing the suit Justice Aluko held that Torhukerhijo’s suit was not the claim of a fundamental right as he averred and was not maintainable under the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules.
The court held: “Coming from the foregoing, I hold the considered view that the main and principal claims of the applicant which principally have to do with his expulsion as a member of the APC, declaration of his seat vacant and an order for the reversal and setting aside of the decision declaring his seat vacant are not fundamental right claims and are not maintainable under Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules.
“To this end, the lone issue in this case is resolved against the Applicant. Consequently, this suit is incompetent and same is struck out for the above reasons.”