You can’t sack Ubah, court tells INEC




 

A Federal High Court Judge, Justice Taiwo Taiwo sitting Thursday restrained the Senate, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and others from executing the judgment of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Kubwa which ordered the sack of Senator Ifeanyi Ubah from the Senate.

The judge held further that INEC and other defendants, in the case filed by Ubah, could not proceed to comply with the order of the FCT High Court in defiance of the subsisting judgments of the National Assembly Elections Tribunal and the Court of Appeal, affirming Ubah’s election.

Earlier, the High Court of the FCT presided over by Justice Bello Kawu had sacked Ifeanyi Ubah as senator representing Anambra south Senatorial District.

Kawu, who gave the judgment, declined Ubah’s motion praying the court to set aside the judgment, arguing that it was fraudulently obtained.

The judge said Ubah submitted a forged National Examination Council (NECO) certificate to INEC in support of his nomination as a candidate for the February 23, 2019, senatorial election.

Giving his ruling  Thursday, Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja granted an order restraining INEC from issuing a Certificate of Return to Obinna Uzor (of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The Judge held further that INEC and other defendants, in the case filed by Ubah, could not proceed to comply with the order of the FCT High Court in defiance of the subsisting judgments of the National Assembly Elections Tribunal and the Court of Appeal, affirming Ubah’s election.

The judge, who cited sections 246(3), 285(2), of the constitution, held that the Court of Appeal was the final court on issues pertaining to the declaration of Ubah as the winner of the senatorial election.

He restrained the defendants from complying with the judgment of the FCT High Court in Suit No CV/3044/18, which he held was defiant to the subsisting judgment of the Elections Petitions Tribunal No. EP/AN/SEN/11/2019, and affirmed by the Court of Appeal in appeal No. CA/E/EAPP/20/2019.

Justice Taiwo was of the view that INEC and the other defendants in the suit, INEC, the Clerk of the National Assembly, the Clerk of the Senate and Obinna Uzor, were bound to comply with the latter judgment of the Election Petitions Tribunal and Court of Appeal delivered on September 9, 2019, and October 29, 2019, respectively affirming Ubah’s election.

The judge declared among others that “the 1st defendant (INEC) has no vires to ignore the post-election judgment of the election tribunal in petition No. EPT/AN/SEN/20/2019- Uba Christian C. VS INEC and 10 others in preference for the post-election judgment of the FCT High Court in suit No. CV/3044/18”.

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