Court sacks Anambra senator

Leslie Hanson
January 13, 2018

An Abuja Federal High Court has set aside the judgment that pronounced Obiora Okonkwo victor of the March, 2015 Anambra Central Senatorial District election.

But in his ruling yesterday, on an application filed by INEC seeking variation of the judgement to enable it conduct the re-run as directed by the Court of Appeal, the judge held that the plaintiff, Okonkwo, had misled the court into getting the consent judgement.

The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) has commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for its decision to go ahead with the proposed January 13 Anambra Central Senatorial rerun election.

"My party, the APC and INEC are in the Court of Appeal Abuja over this obnoxious & illegal action of INEC with hearing on the matter fixed for 23rd of January which is still within the armbit of 90days ordered by court, only for the INEC to fix an "election" for 13th in order to give an unfair advantage to the APGA candidate to go 'unopposed".

"The court today, based its decision on the Court of Appeal decision, in a post-election matter, wherein Senator Uche Ekwunife was disqualified on grounds that she was not the duly nominated candidate of PDP, and ordered for fresh elections".

Okonkwo's lawyer, Mr. Sebastian Hon (SAN), had opposed the motion urging the court to dismiss it with substantial cost.

In a statement in Abuja personally signed by him, Okonkwo said he disagreed with the judgment delivered by Justice John Tsoho.

"Remember that at the High Court level, because there is another court of coordinate jurisdiction which determined that the PDP did not hold primary and that ruled that Mr Chike Maduekwe an aspirant in that contested be refunded his nomination form money".

"In this case, the PDP has lost the seat, therefore there is no seat to replace and again there is no tenure to serve because the election in question has been nullified, the question of pre-election matter does not arise. It can not be regarded as a final judgment".

The court added that in order of precedence and hierarchy, the appellate court takes precedent over the high court. If the consent judgment of this court is at variance with the decisions of the Court of Appeal, it is bound to be declared a nullity.

"Therefore, the consent judgment of this court is vacated and set aside".

He consequently adjourned the case indefinitely pending the outcome of the appeal filed by PDP at the Supreme Court.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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