The Court of Appeal sitting in Enugu, Enugu State, has finally sacked the member representing Ikwo/Ezza South Federal Constituency of Ebonyi State in the House of Representatives, Hon. Lazarus Nweru Ogbee.
The embattled ex-lawmaker was was elected for the second term under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Ogbee before his sack on Friday was the Chairman, House Committee on Reformatory Institutions (Prisons).
The appellate court reaffirmed the judgment of the Election Petition Tribunal, sitting in Abakaliki which had earlier ruled that the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Chinedu Ogah, was the one that actually won the election and not Ogbee.
Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Sika Henry had ruled that from evidences presented before the tribunal to back up his claim, Ogah scored 36,238 votes in the election, while Ogbee got 33,263.
However, dissatisfied with the Tribunal judgement, Ogbee approached the Appellate Court to set aside the ruling of the lower Court but the Appellate Court ruled in favour of the APC candidate.
The Appeal court judges in their ruling upheld the judgement of the Election Tribunal and ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to immediate issue Chinedu Ogah of the APC certificate of return, having scored the highest number of valid votes cast in the election.
In his reaction, Ogbee commended God and the entire people of the Federal Constituency for their support and mandate to serve.
Ogbee said: “I want thank the people of Ezza south and Ikwo Federal constituency for all the support they have given to me. I want to appreciate the Governor of our state, Chief David Umahi. I want to thank the Divine Mandate and PDP families.
“I want to specially appreciate my people, the people of Amazekwe for giving me their support and I want to appeal to them to accept the verdicts of the court in good fate.
“By the special Grace of God, I shall bounce back next time. I want to thank and appreciate my party, the PDP from my ward, local government, State to the national level. I thank them for giving me all the opportunities all these while to serve.
“I thank them for all the various capacities I have served. In chronicling my journey in political positions, I want to sincerely appreciate God. God is a faithful God. I as Laz Ogbee cannot actually equate the love God has bestowed on me as an individual. From being a supervisory councillor in a military era from 1998-1999; I became a local government party chairman from PDP to ANPP. I came in again as supervisory councillor for education for Ezza East Development Center from 2005-2006,” he noted.
Also responding, the winner comrade Chinedu Ogah, said that he was amazed with the ruling, noting that the court had justified that it is the hope of the common man in the society.
“This has shown that the judiciary is really the last hope of the common man. They are the kind of people that can stand not to collect bribe. They are the kind of people that believe on what is right. They saw what the people of my constituency have done by electing me in the last election to represent them in the House of Representatives.
“Judiciary has restored the hope of the masses today, especially my constituency. I assure you that as soon I’m sworn in, you will see greater change in the state,” he noted.