The Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate for Anambra Central Senatorial District of Anambra state, Dr. Obiora Okonkwo, is to commence contempt proceedings against Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, over alleged disobedience of the order of the Federal High Court directing him to issue Certificate of Return to him as winner of the senatorial seat.
The plaintiff, through his counsel, Sabastine Hon (SAN), filed the process contained in Form 48, which is notice for consequences of disobedience to order of court marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1092/14.
The document reads in parts: “Take notice that unless you obey the decisions contained in the consent judgment of this honourable court made by Justice John Tsoho on December 13, 2017, already served on you on December 19, 2017, you will be guilty of contempt of court and will be liable to be committed to prison.”
In addition to the contempt proceedings, Obiora has equally asked the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court to stop INEC from conducting the re-run election for the senatorial seat scheduled for January 13, 2018, as he has already been declared the winner of that election by a competent court of law.
In the instance suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/ 1294/2017, Obiora (plaintiff) further asked the court to declare as invalid in law, null and void, all the processes leading to and consequent upon the scheduled rerun election, including announcement of results, declaration of the ‘winner,’ issuing of certificate of return to the ‘winner’ and the determination of an election petition or election petitions against any of the defendants.
The suit,filed by his counsel, has 29 defendants including INEC, Chief Victor Umeh, All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA); Flint Ikechukwu Obiekwe; United Progressive Party (UPP); Senator Chris Ngige; All Progressives Congress (APC); Oyeh Mercy Uche; Accord (A); Hon. Oby Kate Okafor; Advanced Congress of Democrats (ACD); Chief Anayo Nweke; African Democratic Congress (ADC); Christopher Chukwendu; Citizens Popular Party (CPP); Okafor Ikechukwu; Independent Democrats (ID); Chief Dennis Oguguo; Kowa Party (KP) and Kingsley Nwafor.
The rest are Ekweozoh Nkem; Mega Progressive Peoples Party (MPPP); Ubakamma Ikenna; National Conscience Party (NCP); Rev. Charles Ekwueme; People For Democratic Change (PDC); Igwilo Michael and Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA).
In the suit, Obiora also asked the court to make an order declaring that in view of the fact that he had already been declared by the Federal High Court, in suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/ 1092/2014, as the senator-elect representing the Anambra Central Senatorial District, coupled with the fact that appeals Nos. SC.997/2017 are to knowledge of INEC pending at the Supreme Court, the defendants are not competent in law to present themselves or to participate in the scheduled for January 13, 2018 rerun election for the Anambra Central Senatorial District or on any other rescheduled date.
The suit which is supported by a 32-paragraph affidavit deposed by the plaintiff, a posed the following questions to be determined by the court.
Whether, by virtue of section 287 (3) and other relevant provisions of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), in view of the interlocutory ruling of the Federal High Court in suit No. FHC/ABJ/ CS /1092/ 2014, delivered on March 9, 2016, to which, the 1st defendant (INEC) was a party and against which there is no appeal, wherein it was held that the judgment of the Court of Appeal, Enugu division, in appeal No. CA/E/EPT/28/2015 did not disqualify the plaintiff from contesting the March, 2015 senatorial election into the Anambra Central Senatorial district, coupled with the final decision in the said suit No. FHC/ABJ/ CS /1092/ 2014, delivered on 13/12/2017, wherein the plaintiff was declared the winner of that senatorial election, the 1st defendant (INEC) is right in law to order a rerun election in the same Anambra Central Senatorial District.
No date has been fixed for the hearing of the matter