Posted by Martins Odeh | 12 January 2018 | 1,361 times
The Court of Appeal on Thursday in Abuja dismissed a motion seeking to restrain the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from conducting the re-run election into the Anambra Central Senatorial District.
Delivering the judgment, Justice Abubakar Yahaya held that the earlier order made last November 20 directing INEC to conduct election for the senatorial seat within 90 days could not be reversed as such action was not recognised by the court’s practice direction, adding that the panel would not succumb to an invitation to make mockery of the judiciary.
“The court hereby refuses to grant the request for the postponement of the election already scheduled for Saturday,’’ the judge held.
Yahaya also said that the court could not compel INEC to make any undertaken to postpone the election over an application that was not ripe for hearing.
“For the avoidance of doubt, we have not restrained INEC from conducting the election as ordered by this court on November 20, 2017,” Yahaya affirmed.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Senator Annie Okonkwo, an aggrieved aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party, had approached the appellate court with the application.
Okonkwo had sought for leave to appeal against the November 20, 2017 decision of the court of appeal, which ordered INEC to conduct a re-run election in that senatorial district within 90 days.
He claimed that he was interested in challenging the decision of the appellate court last year as a senatorial aspirant.
He, however, averred that the application could not be entertained because most parties joined in the application were not served with the court processes.
In order to meander this legal tight corner, Okonkwo then applied for an adjournment to enable him effect service on all the parties.
Worried that he could lose out since the election had been slated for this Saturday, the applicant filed a motion seeking the court to bar INEC from holding the election pending the determination of his appeal.
Okonkwo's counsel, Chief Solomon Umoh (SAN) urged the court to compel INEC’s counsel, Mr Tanimu Inuwa to make an undertaken in the open court that INEC would not go ahead with the election having been aware of his pending application.
The counsel for INEC immediately objected to the request on the ground that huge public fund had been expended on preparation for the poll.
He also said that he did not have the powers to make any undertaken to postpone the poll because of the subsisting appeal court judgment of November 20. (NAN)
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