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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Anambra PDP crisis: Supreme Court rejects INEC's application



The Supreme Court has de­clined to review its judg­ment delivered on January 29, 2016 on the leadership crisis of the Anambra State chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

The apex court said that the judgment was clear, as it relates to only the leadership of the PDP in the state.
In a ruling delivered by Justice John Okoro, in an application filed by the Independent National Elec­toral Commission (INEC), seek­ing the review, clarification and consequences of the judgment, the Supreme Court held that the judgment by its ordinary mean­ing did not need to be subjected to any clarification.
Besides, the apex court held that what was brought before it was the issue of leadership of the PDP in Anambra State and not on the implication of the elections that were conducted thereafter.
In the unanimous ruling, Jus­tice Okoro, however, said that the dispute on whether INEC Certif­icates of Return should be with­drawn from the serving law­makers and given to the list of candidates of the Oguebego-led faction of the state PDP, was not an issue before the court and that it never made any pronouncement to that effect.
The court also held that Order 8, Rule 16 of the Supreme Court expressly states that the court shall not review its judgment once de­livered except there is a clerical mistake or slip which in the in­stant case never happened.
Justice Okoro held that the action sought will amount to re-writing the judgment and giving order where nothing has been shown that there was a clerical mistake in the apex court’s ver­dict on the matter.
While reacting to the ruling, INEC’s counsel, Chief Adegboye ga Awomolo, said the decision of the court had resolved the black­mail and confusion that were em­ployed by parties in the suit for their selfish purposes.
On his part, the lead counsel to the Oguebego faction, Chief Chris Uche (SAN), said the rul­ing had cleared the way for them to benefit from the judgment de­livered on January 29, 2016.
The AUTHORITY recalls that PDP in Anambra State had filed a notice of contempt charge against the INEC over the alleged persistent disobedience to the Su­preme Court judgement that re­solved the leadership of PDP cri­sis in the state.
The notice of contempt was filed at the Federal High Court in Abuja by the Oguebego leadership which last month secured the Su­preme Court’s verdict as the au­thentic PDP Executive Commit­tee for Anambra State.
In the notice of consequences of disobedience to order of court otherwise known as Form 48, the INEC chiefs were warned that un­less they obeyed the court order on the authenticity of the Anam­bra State Executive Committee led by Oguebego, they will be guilty of contempt of court and will be lia­ble to be committed to prison for two years.
The listed INEC chiefs on the contempt notice are the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yaku­bu, the commission’s Secretary, Mrs. Augusta Ogakwu and its Di­rector of Legal Services, Mr. Ibra­him K. Bawa (SAN).
The notice dated February 18, 2016 and signed by the Reg­istrar, Federal High Court Regis­try read in part “unless you obey the directions contained in the or­der of the Honourable Court at­tached to this Form (in particu­lar the 5th Order restraining you from acting on list of nominated candidates except those that em­anate from Plaintiffs), you will be guilty of Contempt of Court, and you will be liable to be commit­ted to prison.

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