The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has clarified that it did not refuse to obey the judgement of the Supreme Court on the national chairmanship of All Progressives Ground Alliance (APGA).
The electoral umpire in a statement by its National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye in Abuja on Tuesday, said its attention had been drawn to posters and statements being circulated by an amorphous group accusing it of refusing to obey the Supreme Court judgment purportedly recognising one Chief Edozie Njoku as the authentic National Chairman of APGA.
He said that the commission viewed the circulation of the posters and statements as cheap blackmail aimed at hoodwinking those who were not abreast with the details of the case.
He said that the issues in question were about facts, the law and due process not amenable to hysteria and appeal to sentiments.
He said that the suit in question started from the Jigawa High Court, initiated by one Alhaji Rabiu Aliyu against Chief Jude Okeke and three others, in which Njoku was not a party to the suit.
“One of the reliefs sought is a “Declaration that the national officers of APGA, including the Plaintiff, who were elected at its national convention held in Owerri, Imo State on May 31, 2019 shall remain in office and discharge their respective duties for a term of four years commencing from May 31, 2021.”
Okoye added that on June 30, 2021, the Jigawa High Court in suit No: JDU/022/2021 entered judgement in favour of the said Alhaji Rabiu Garba Aliyu.
He recalled that on appeal, the Court of Appeal described the suit as an abuse of court process.
“Consequently, the entire proceedings of the Jigawa State High Court in suit No. JDU/022/2021, delivered by Musa Ubale J on June 30, 2021 and the judgement delivered thereon are accordingly set aside,” he said.
Okoye added that the Supreme Court in its judgement of Oct. 14, 2021 affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeal.
“However, on Jan. 27, Njoku, who was never a party to any of the suits and the processes filed in the various courts approached the Supreme Court of Nigeria as an interested person/applicant.
“Njoku filed a Motion on Notice seeking for an order of the Court to correct “typographical errors and accidental slip” in the lead judgement of the Supreme Court.
“This was granted and the correction did not in any way affect the substance of the suit and the orders made by the Supreme Court.”
Okoye described INEC as a law-abiding institution that would continue to give effect to the decisions, judgements and orders of the various courts in Nigeria.
“The Courts are not helpless when they make orders, deliver judgements and make pronouncements. They also have the capacity to punish for disobedience of their orders and judgements in committal proceedings.
“This is the process open to law abiding citizens, groups and organizations rather than resorting to cheap blackmail and using amorphous groups to malign the commission and its officials,” Okoye said.
Leave a Reply