Representation suit: Court declines PDP, member’s prayer


By Dotun Omolaja, Lagos


A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has refused to grant an application brought by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and a member, Olakunle Okunola,

for substituted service of a suit filed against the lawmaker representing Ikeja Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives, James Falake.


The plaintiffs had applied to the court for leave to serve the lawmaker with the processes either by advertising them in a newspaper or posting them on his office walls.


But Justice Abdulazeez Anka said there was no evidence before him to show that court’s bailiffs could not serve Faleke personally.


He directed the bailiff to swear to an affidavit of “non-service” before he would consider the application for substituted service.


The applicants are urging the court to declare that Faleke’s membership of the House of Representatives had terminated because his voting data was transferred from Ikeja Federal Constituency of Lagos State to Ekinrin-ade ward of Ijumu Local Government Area of Kogi State.


Faleke, who hails from Kogi, was running mate to the late Abubakar Audu, who was leading at the poll but died before the final result was declared.


The plaintiffs are urging the court to declare that the All Progressives Congress (APC) breached Section 37 of the Electoral Act when it nominated Faleke for the March 28, 2015 National Assembly election and later nominated him as its deputy governorship candidate for the November 21, 2015 governorship election in Kogi.


According to the plaintiffs, Faleke cannot remain a member of the House while being nominated as a deputy governorship candidate in another state.


Faleke, APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) are the respondents.


The plaintiffs prayed for an order of perpetual injunction restraining INEC from reversing or re-transferring Faleke’s voting and membership data from Ekinrin-ade ward in Ijumu Local Government Area of Kogi State to the Ikeja Federal Constituency 1 of Lagos State.


They urged the court to stop Faleke from parading himself as a member of the House representing Ikeja Federal Constituency 1 in the House of Representatives.


Justice Anka adjourned till February 9. 

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