Written by Beatrice Onuchukwu, Akwa & Abdul-Rahman Abubakar:

Within hours after the Court of Appeal, Enugu Division threw Mrs. Joy Emodi out of the Senate, several senators commenced a campaign for Acting President Goodluck Jonathan to nominate her as a minister to replace the controversial former Minister of Information and Communication Prof. Dora Akunyili, who is one of the nine former ministers already nominated for reappointment. Emodi, like Akunyili, is from Anambra State.

The Court of Appeal had ruled yesterday that Mrs. Joy Emodi, who is a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) member, was not the Senator duly-elected to represent Anambra North senatorial district. The Court, led by Justice Ola Kayode Ariwola, unanimously ruled that Mr. Alphonsus Uba Igbeke of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) was the authentic winner of the seat in the April 28, 2007 election.

A reliable source at the Senate told Daily Trust that many senators are determined that Mrs. Akunyili will not return to the Federal Executive Council. They said the Acting President should either drop her nomination or they will ensure that she fails at the Senate screening. As soon as Emodi lost her Senate seat yesterday, they cashed in on it and proposed her as a replacement.

The Election Petition tribunal had earlier returned Emodi as winner of the 2007 election, but Igbeke appealed the ruling on the grounds that she was not duly elected by a majority of lawful votes cast at the election and that her return was invalid by reason of substantial non-compliance with the Electoral Act, 2006. He said he polled the majority of lawful votes cast at the election and ought to have been declared winner of the election.

He said there was no election in all the polling units/booths in Onitsha South and Ayamelum local government areas of Anambra North Senatorial District on April 28, 2007 and that all the votes credited to all the candidates at the polling units in both Onitsha South and Ayamelum LGAs be set aside and nullified.

According to him, election held in only five out of seven LGAs of Anambra East, Anambra West, Ogbaru, Onitsha North and Oyi LGAs of Anambra North Senatorial District but the electoral body did not collate the results of all the wards and LGA collation centres but proceeded to award arbitrary figures to the candidates not related to the votes cast at the election as declared by the Presiding Officers, and that they went ahead to return Emodi as the winner of the election.

He said that the non-conduct of the election in the two LGAs of Onitsha South and Ayamelum due to non-supply and distribution of election materials in these areas did not materially affect the result of the election, going by the total registered voters.

The Court agreed with him and directed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw the Certificate of Return issued to Emodi and return same immediately to Igbeke.

Reacting to the judgment, counsel to Senator Emodi, Hipo Onwuegbuka, said as a lawyer, he accepted the judgment since the Court of Appeal is the final arbiter. Also speaking, counsel to Igbeke, Gozie Obi described the judgment as sound, saying though justice had been done, it took a fairly long time in coming. On his part, Igbeke expressed happiness at the judgment and said it showed that the judiciary is the last hope of the common man.

Speaking to Daily Trust on condition of anonymity last night, a senator said, “Several of us have resolved that Akunyili would not be allowed to return to the cabinet which she helped destabilise by her unguarded utterances before the dissolution of the FEC. We have started working to ensure that she is replaced by Senator Emodi who is also from Anambra state.”

The senator said Akunyili’s nomination is bound to face stiff opposition due to her comments in the wake of the political logjam caused by the illness of President Umaru Musa Yar’adua.

“She made comments unbecoming of a public officer. If you could remember, she was called to order by several highly placed individuals and institutions in the country, including the House of Representatives. Such a person should not be allowed to return to the cabinet,” the senator said.

Daily Trust learnt that the senators have resolved after a meeting to push the proposal forward by convincing Senate President David Mark to support the replacement of Akunyili with Emodi.

The senators, according to our source, have resolved that should their bid for the replacement of Akunyili fail, “We will stand as opposition to her nomination during the screening and we will ensure that she is disqualified.”

It was also gathered that lobbying has been intensified by former National Planning Minister Senator Sanusi Daggash to persuade senators to support his confirmation during the screening hearing.

“We have suggested to him (Daggash) that he must try to approach every senator because there is problem. There are senators that are bent on disqualifying him because of the problems he had with the Senate when he was minister. If you observe, his name was even booed by senators when it was announced,” a source said.

Prof. Akunyili presented a memo to the last FEC seeking to declare President Umaru Musa Yar’adua incapacitated and she severally accused some of her colleagues of being part of a “cabal” standing between then Vice President Goodluck Jonathan and full presidential powers.

Her comments attracted condemnations from many quarters, including the PDP national leadership, the National Governors Forum and the House of Representatives. She was later sacked when Jonathan dissolved the FEC, only to resurface among the 33 nominees whose names have been sent to the Senate for confirmation, the process for which begins on Monday.

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5 Thoughts on “Emodi may replace Akunyili – …As Appeal Court sacks Senator

  1. kelly c c owori on March 26, 2010 at 9:51 pm said:

    DORA IS A BRAVE WOMAN NIGERIA HAS EVER PRODUCE, AS WE DON,T TRUST EACH OTHER IN THIS CALL NIGERIA , WE ONLY BELIEVE WHEN SOMEONE IS TELLING US A LIAR THAN THE TRUTH SO DORA WAS SIMPLE SAYING THE TRUTH BASE SITUATION ON THE GROUND THEN,

  2. @Anyi.you have good talk here,But psychologically,from your writing.you are only against Akunyili because of the fact that she closed down onitsha market for good[fake drugs to be checked].it does not matter if she start from onitsha or anywhere.And it is good she started it from her area.Are you into fake drugs or fake business?.Tell the world .you made mention of IBB,Obasanjo,andJonathan.Even when the power is given to you.you will be worst.so let us not conderm any person.but let us pray for our great Nation

  3. IKPOKIRI AJA on March 26, 2010 at 12:22 pm said:

    It is only in Nigeria that People are penalized for saying the right things. Why dream about changing the only person that spoke the truth in the former cabinet. If some one must be dropped, why not Mrs Fix It (Mrs. Anineh). They are claiming that she is from Anambra State.Every kid in Nigeria Knows that she is EDO. Why bring a fraudster (Mrs. Emodi into the new Cabinet. MRS. JOY EMORDI SHOULD BE PROSECUTED FOR ELECTION RIGGING. Are we saying that election rigging is an act that will be compensated with a cabinet appointment. May God save Nigeria. My prayer is that The wrath of God Will visit all of them that have held Nigeria to ransom up to their tenth generation. They will not know peace even in death.The spirit of the traumatized innocent Nigerians will haunt them foerver.

  4. @uzosike uzochukwu: Is it naivety or ignorance? Don’t be fooled by Akunyili’s antics, she will remain on record as one of the most blatant liars during of the Yar’Adua’s drama, and she capped it up with her childish response to the Faruk Mutallabs attempt bombing of the US bound airline..
    I know many Nigerians have quickly forgotten her funny lies that the Sharia bomber was in Nigeria for ONLY 26 mins., before taking off for Amsterdam! You will question what her business is there to defend terrorists, the same that are currently committing the pass-time genocide against her own people!
    During the Yar’Adua game, she as information ministry was denied any information about the disease infested ‘President’ yet she still come out and roll out lies and deceit. If she believes in integrity, she would have resigned her position, then if you had used such as an argument, it will make a better sense. All of them are worse than vultures, they were played and toyed around like stupid fools, send to Saudi Arabia, and hang around like fools and come back without seeing the sick man, the last group was even treated worse, that you will expect them to immediately resign of return, but which of them resigned as a protest for seriously damaged ego and integrity- NONE!
    Remember she was the one that, closed down the WHOLE market at Onitsha, in her phantom quest to find fake drug peddlers, which she did primarily to impress her masters! If we want to be convinced that the move was in the true interest of all, why didn’t she start from Lagos, and Port Harcourt, where the drugs are shipped in from and also all the other markets in Nigeria where fake drugs are equally being distributed from.
    The truth is that I don’t think any of them is interested in making anything work, they are there for their own pocket and selfish ends, because in a NO MAN’s LAND like Nigeria, what you get is your own and no one will ask you question when you are out.. Just look at their past so called ‘rulers’ how many of them have ever been tried for their evil, from genocide to outrageous corruption that runs in Billions… Criminals like IBB and Obasanjo are roaming free, in fact still calling the shots from the ‘paradise’. In other places, they would have been hanged or left to rot in jail for their countless evil. Pol Pot, Pinochet and Suharto did not do 1/100 of what these two evil men did, yet two aforementioned were made to face their sins in office while, Nigeria celebrate their own killers
    It is because people are afraid of taking responsibility that many often hide under the so-called One Nigeria, when they know quite well that it is already a DEAD game… However, the dead game cannot last forever, eventually, each group will find their way out of the so-called Nigeria, in peace or in pieces…
    I suggest that we start NOW the ‘peaceful’ divorce proceedings while we still talk to one another.
    I don’t see any good coming out of Jonathan, after all he is a bigger beneficiary of the evil and cannot turn around to call for the requested ‘Meeting of nations within Nigeria with a referendum, whereby each nation will freely agree to be or not be part of Nigeria’. Nigeria is just in a loop, sadly on a backward model. 50years again, if nothing of the above suggested way forward is adopted, Nigeria will be singing the same old song..’We are learning’ or its military fault, yet each election or selection 90% will be people from the military with the crude mentality of destruction..

  5. uzosike uzochukwu on March 26, 2010 at 10:38 am said:

    Truth is always bitter,Nigeria as a corrupt country require no body to say the truth even when it is needed most.Why Dora must be cruxified is only because she said a truth that saved Nigeria from sinking.You senator that is bent on disqualifing Dora,remember that if the military had heed to the pressure of those unpatrotic Nigerians like you,you may not have the opportunity to disqualify Dora on monday as you are planning.I strongly believe that if Nigeria could have up to 10 Doras in the senate,10 Doras in the Reps and 10 Doras in the FEC; Nigeria will change

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