Justice Babatunde Quadri of the Federal High Court in Abuja thursday summoned the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to appear before it and show cause why it should not be restrained from conducting the rerun election for Anambra Central senatorial seat slated for January 13.

Justice Quadri gave the order following a motion ex parte filed by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Obiora Okonkwo who has been declared as the lawful candidate for the Anambra Central senatorial seat.

Those summoned alongside INEC include 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.

Others 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).

They are to appear in court on Wednesday, January 10, for the definite hearing of the suit brought by the candidate of the PDP for Anambra Central senatorial district, Okonkwo.

The judge also directed that all court processes relating to the case be served on the 2nd to 29th defendants through the registered offices of their political parties.

In the said motion which was moved by his counsel, Chief Sabastine Hon (SAN), Okonkwo sought an interim injunction restraining the electoral body from proceeding with the conduct of the rerun election slated for January 13 for the senatorial seat.

Ridding on the shoulders of the consent judgment of the Federa High Court delivered by Justice John Tsoho, which declared him winner of the senatorial seat, Hon argued that the interest of his client would be jeopardised if INEC goes ahead with the conduct of the rerun election.

Justice Tsoho had in the said judgment in reference ordered INEC to issue a Certificate of Return to Okonkwo as the winner of the Anambra Central senatorial seat.

INEC is yet to comply with the judgment of the Federal High Court which has not been appealed against.

Meanwhile, INEC yesterday said the Anambra Central senatorial rerun election must hold as scheduled on January 13.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, Dr. Nkwachkwu Orji, who spoke with journalists, said the commission had commenced training of ad hoc personnel in that respect.

Speaking with THISDAY yesterday, the Anambra REC said its legal department had studied Justice Tsoho’s judgment and asked it to go ahead with the election as ordered by the Court of Appeal as against Justice John Tsoho’s judgment.

The REC said: “We are going ahead with the election as scheduled. We have started training ad hoc personnel in that respect.

“Our legal department has asked us to go ahead and obey the Court of Appeal order against the Federal High Court judgement. So, we are going ahead to conduct the election on January 13,” the REC stated.

Anambra Central senatorial district had been without a senator since 2015 when a Court of Appeal, Enugu Division, sacked the occupant of the position, Mrs. Uche Ekwunife.

The court asked INEC to conduct rerun in the district within 90 days while disqualifying Ekwunife and her political party, PDP, from participating in the rerun.

The PDP had to challenge its exclusion in the rerun at the Federal High Court, Abuja which the court granted judgment to it favour.

On appeal, by the candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Victor Umeh, and APGA contended that PDP would not field a candidate in the rerun since it was on its instance that the election was nullified on December 7, 2015.

SOURCE

thisdaylive.com

05 January, 2018

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