Ubah: Court stops INEC from issuing certificate of return to Uzor

The Federal High Court, Abuja, Thursday, restrained the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from giving effect to the judgment delivered by the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory against Senator Ifeanyi Ubah.

The court had ordered the electoral umpire to issue a Certificate of Return to Obinna Uzor as the Senator representing Anambra South.

But Justice Taiwo Taiwo in his judgment after listening to Counsel to Senator Ifeanyi Ubah, Charles Ndukwe, held that INEC and the other defendants cannot proceed to comply with the order of the FCT High Court in defiance to the subsisting judgments of the National Assembly Elections Tribunal and the Court of Appeal, which had affirmed Senator Ubah as the Senator representing Anambra South Senatorial District at the National Assembly.

Justice Taiwo held that the Court of Appeal is the final court on issues pertaining to the declaration of Ubah as the duly elected Senator for Anambra South Senatorial District.

The judge while answering questions on whether having regards to Section 246 (3), 285 (2) of the Constitution and the doctrine of hierarchy of Courts, the defendants can proceed to comply with the judgment of the FCT High Court in suit No CV/3044/18, in defiance of the subsisting judgment of the Elections Petitions Tribunal No. EP/AN/SEN/11/2019, which has been affirmed by the Court of Appeal in appeal No. CA/E/EAPP/20/2019, Uba Christian C. Vs INEC and 10 others, held that the Court of Appeal is the final court on issues pertaining to the declaration of the plaintiff (Ubah) as the duly elected Senator for Anambra South Senatorial District.

Justice Taiwo further held that INEC and the other defendants in the suit, including the Clerk of the National Assembly are bound to comply with the later judgments of the Election Petitions Tribunal and Court of Appeal delivered on September 9, 2019, and October 29, 2019, respectively affirming the election of Ubah and not the earlier judgment of the FCT High Court delivered on April 11, 2019.

The court consequently ordered that the first defendant (INEC) has no vires to ignore the post-election judgment of the election tribunal in petition No. EPT/AN/SEN/20/2019 – Uba Christian C. VS INEC and 10 others in preference for the post-election judgment of the FCT High Court in suit No. CV/3044/18.

An order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants from giving effect to the judgment in suit No. CV/3044/18 was given the subsistence of the judgment of the Election Petition Tribunal in petition No. EPT/AN/SEN/11/2019 as affirmed by the Court of Appeal in appeal No.CA/E/EAPP/20/2019, Uba Christian C. VS. INEC and 10 others.

An order directing the defendants to obey and give effect to the judgment of the Court of Appeal delivered in appeal No. CA/E/EAPP/20/2019, Uba Christian C. VS. INEC and 10 others and affirming the plaintiff as the winner of the election conducted for the Anambra South Senatorial district conducted on February 23 2019.

In an affidavit deposed to by Senator Ifeanyi Ubah in support of the originating summons he averred that Obinna Uzor, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was not an aspirant in the primary of his party, the Young Peoples Party (YPP) for Anambra South Senatorial District and was surprisingly joined as a party in the suit before the FCT High Court on April 1st 2019.

He further averred that the judgment of the FCT High Court delivered is in conflict with the decision of the election tribunal as upheld by the Court of Appeal on September 9, 2019, which had affirmed Ubah as the duly elected Senator representing Anambra South Senatorial District.

Source : Guardian News.

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