Court Clears Coast For Anambra Central Senatorial Rerun Poll Today

Umeh wins Anambra Central rerun election

Umeh wins Anambra Central rerun election

A Federal High Court, Abuja, Friday, set aside its earlier judgment directing the swearing in of Dr. Obiora Okonkwo as the Senator Representing Anambra Central Senatorial District on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Justice John Tsoho yesterday vacated his earlier judgment in a ruling he delivered on an application seeking the setting aside of his December 13, 2017 consent judgment on the grounds that the court was misled by the plaintiff in securing the consent judgment.

According to the electoral body, the appellate court had in three separate verdicts in suit number CA/EPT/28/2015, delivered on December 7, 2015, CA/A/160/2016 and CA/A/165/2016, both delivered on November 20, 2017, directed it to within 90 days, conduct a rerun for the senatorial district.

Justice Tsoho added that he was liable to set aside the earlier judgment, because it was not based on merit.

But INEC, through its lawyer, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), had filed a motion before the court contending that the court lacked the powers to order it to issue Certificate of Return to Okonkwo, when the Court of Appeal, which is higher in hierarchy, had earlier made definite orders that a fresh election should be conducted.

Mr. Tsoho held that the actions of the respondent counsel in the suit, namely the Peoples Democratic Party, which resulted in the December judgement was questionable given the Appeal Court judgement which ordered a re-election without the inclusion of the party. He, therefore, submitted that his court being a lower court, is bound by the decision of the appellete court in the instant case. It is not one on merit, therefore the court has jurisdiction to revisit it.

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The judge had ordered that if a certificate of return had previously been issued to any person; it should be withdrawn and given to Okonkwo.

On the argument that the court can not seat on an appeal against its judgment, the court said hearing the appeal has not rendered it functus officio.

The court held that the time for primary elections had elapsed and the PDP could no longer field a candidate in the election.

Obiora informed of his disagree with the said court ruling in its entirety in a statement he personally signed and sent to Sundiata Post.

Tsoho held that Okonkwo suppressed facts when he said he was not a party in the Appeal Court judgment, whereas his party, the PDP was a party to all the judgment, adding that the PDP has already filed a notice of appeal against the judgment of the Court of Appeal.

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