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Court Sacks Anambra Central Senator A Day To Rerun Election
13 January 2018, 05:20 | Silvia Roy
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The election was won by Mrs Uche Ekwunife of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), but the seat has been vacant since 2015 after Dr. Obiora Okonkwo of PDP, filed suit against its former National Chiarman, Alhaji Adamu Muazu, INEC and Mrs. Ekwunife claiming he is the validly elected representative for Anambra Central Senatorial District.
Obi-Okoye said the decision of INEC to obey the Court of Appeal judgment over that of a Federal High Court was in tandem with the principle of legal jurisprudence which says the decision of a high court will at all times supersede that of a lower court.
Delivering a ruling on Friday on application filed by INEC, seeking variation of the judgment to enable it conduct the rerun as directed by the Court of Appeal, the Judge held that the plaintiff, Okonkwo had misled the court into getting the consent judgment.
Earlier, Okonkwo's effort to postpone the rerun at the Appeal Court failed as a ruling on the matter by a three-man panel of justices presided by Justice Abubakar Datti Yahaya, held that the earlier order made on November 20, 2017 directing INEC to conduct election for the senatorial seat within 90 days can not be reversed so as not to make mockery of the judiciary.
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Delivering the judgment, Justice Abubakar Yahaya held that the earlier order made on November 20, 2017 directing INEC to conduct election for the senatorial seat within 90 days could not be reversed.
Okonkwo's lawyer, Mr. Sebastian Hon (SAN), had opposed the motion urging the court to dismiss it with substantial cost.
"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".
"On that basis, this court is not rendered functus officio".
He therefore submitted that his court being a lower court, is bound by the decision of the appellet court in the instant case. "It can not be regarded as a final judgment".
He added, "By the doctrine of judicial precedence, the decision of the Court of Appeal is ordinarily binding on this court in respect of this matter".
"The question is can the decision of a High Court upturn the decision of the Court of Appeal?"
The Judge further stated that he was liable to set aside the earlier judgment because it was not based on merit.
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He consequently adjourned the case indefinitely pending the outcome of the appeal filed by PDP at the Supreme Court.
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