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Tue, Sep 12, 2023 5:25 PM

An FCT High Court Fixes Date for Hearing on Application to Commit INEC Chairman to Prison

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An FCT High Court Fixes Date for Hearing on Application to Commit INEC Chairman to Prison
An FCT High Court sitting in Bwari has fixed Sept. 14 for definite hearing of a motion seeking an order to commit the Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, to prison over alleged disobedience to court order.

An FCT High Court in Bwari has set a date for the hearing of an application seeking to hold Professor Mahmood Yakubu, the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in contempt. The motion seeks to commit him to prison based on allegations of disobedience to a court order. The court granted the request for the hearing to commence on September 14.

The committal charge arose from a suit filed by Mr. Michael Ajara on behalf of Otunba Camaru Lateef Ogidan and Mustapha Rabiu. The plaintiffs emerged as National Vice Chairman, South West Geopolitical Zone, and National Welfare Officer respectively of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) during the Owerri Convention of May 31, 2019, under the leadership of Chief Edozie Njoku, the National Chairman of the party.

The plaintiffs allege that both Professor Yakubu and Chief Victor Oye, the National Chairman of APGA, disregarded a court's interim injunction issued on May 10. The injunction ordered all parties to maintain the status quo pending the determination of the substantive suit slated for September 28.

Specifically, the plaintiffs claim that Professor Yakubu failed to acknowledge Chief Njoku as the rightful national chairman of APGA. They also accuse him of publishing lists of governorship candidates that did not originate from Njoku for the APGA elections in Imo, Kogi, and Bayelsa scheduled for November 11.*

The motion argues that the INEC chairman continued to recognize Chief Oye as the national chairman of APGA despite the court order. It further states that Chief Oye convened a National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the party in defiance of the court's prohibition on him holding any meetings, campaign events, or conventions in the name of the party. The injunction specifically ordered Chief Oye to cease parading himself as the National Chairman of APGA.

During the court session, Mr. Ajara, representing the plaintiffs, confirmed that the motion had been served on the INEC chairman on July 13. However, the proof of service of the contempt proceedings against Chief Oye could not be located in the court file, although certified true copies of the documents were available for both respondents. It was discovered that the original copy of the proof of service had been removed by the bailiff, Mr. Musa Abdulwahab. The bailiff, however, did not provide a reason for removing the document.

Justice Mohammed Madugu adjourned Chief Oye's matter until September 28 for further hearing with hopes of resolving this mix-up. The upcoming hearing will likely shed light on the allegations made against Professor Yakubu and Chief Oye, and provide an opportunity for all parties to present their arguments.

Source of content: OOO News 2023-09-12 News

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