Legal Nigeria

Anambra: Uba, Oduah approach Supreme Court for clarification of judgment

INDICATIONS emerged at the weekend that the nine federal lawmakers repre­senting Anambra State on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the National Assembly, in­cluding Senators Andy Uba and Stella Oduah may return to the Supreme Court this week for clarification regard­ing their status with respect to its judgment on the leader­ship crisis rocking the party in the state.
Interestingly, Chief Chris Ubah, John Emeka, Annie Okonkwo and others on the list of Ejike Oguebego-led national executive of the party, who got judgment of the Supreme Court, have approached the Independent National Electoral Commis­sion (INEC) to issue them Certificates of Return as elected senators and House of Representatives members for Anambra State.
Already, Uba and Oduah have written to INEC insist­ing that the judgment did not affect their seats in the Na­tional Assembly.
Sources close to one of them told Daily Sun that the motion seeking clarification of the judgment became nec­essary in view of the insinua­tions that the lawmakers may have lost their seats by the judgment of the apex court.
In a letter addressed to the Chairman of INEC by their lawyer, Chief Arthur Oka­for (SAN), the politicians insisted that the Supreme Court judgment delivered last Friday has not in any way rendered their seats va­cant in both chambers of the National Assembly.
The January 29 letter stated that the lawmakers urged the INEC chairman to “resist the machinations of those who are ill-motivated and bent on causing confu­sion in the system. If you find that the national ex­ecutive of PDP, which, in the case, nominated our cli­ents, then in the absence of a court order, there will be no compulsion or justifica­tion on your part to interfere with the mandate vested in our clients by the PDP and the electorate.”
They insisted that the primary election which pro­duced them as candidates for the 2015 general elec­tions was conducted by the national secretariat of the PDP as required by law and not the Anambra chapter of the PDP as being insinuated.
In a related develop­ment, House of Representa­tives member representing Anambra East and West Federal Constituency and former state chairman of the PDP, Tony Nwoye, has said he foresees further crisis in the party in the state follow­ing the Supreme Court judg­ment.
Nwoye reiterated that the judgment of the court was purely on who was the au­thentic state chairman and had nothing to do with their positions as lawmakers.
The lawmaker said this when he addressed mem­bers of his constituency whom he invited to his Nsugbe country home to say thank you for their support for him. Nwoye noted that the Supreme Court had ear­lier decided the issue of the PDP tickets when it held last year in a matter brought by Charles Odedo that Ogue­bego had no business in the PDP list.
Yesterday, in Abuja, Chief Chris Uba, Andy’s brother said he would, today, storm INEC to demand for his cer­tificate of return as winner of the election. Uba warned his brother and Oduah, as well as others to stop parad­ing themselves as senators.
He insisted that the judg­ment of the Supreme Court last Friday which affirmed an earlier High Court ver­dict recognising the Ogue­bego executive as the state’s authentic leadership, meant that he and the people in his camp have become mem­bers of the National Assem­bly.
He advised the affected ‘former’ senators and House Representatives members to accept their fate and honour­ably step down, adding that he will lead other members of the party who emerged as candidates under the Ogue­bego-monitored primaries to the office of INEC today to demand for their Certifi­cates of Return.
Andy Uba and Oduah had faulted the assumptions that the Supreme Court judg­ment effectively removed them from office, arguing that they were not party in the suit, which basically had to deal with issues of leader­ship crisis in Anambra PDP.
Chris, who described himself as “senator repre­senting Anambra South” told newsmen in Abuja yes­terday that he was “shocked that those who should be conversant with the laws of the land could be deceiving the public regarding their true status after the Supreme Court failed to recognise the dubious way through which they got to the Senate…”
Daily Sun