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INEC, APC, Ikpeazu and impending judicial anarchy

INEC, APC, Ikpeazu and impending judicial anarchy

This ‘new’ INEC is something else! 

Immediately Gov. Ikpeazu of Abia was ordered to vacate his office, his party, PDP, and he himself not only appealed but filed a notice of stay of execution IMMEDIATELY. 

However, INEC commissioner in charge of Southeast, Amb. Lawrence Nwuruku, issued certificate of return to Uchechukwu Ogah yesterday. 

Image: INEC boss, Mahmood Yakubu

 Here are his words:

“The situation is we are simply obeying the court order. The court said with immediate effect, we should issue him a Certificate of Return, and that is what we have done.”

Then he added another line that showed he knew the script he he was playing.

“This INEC is a disaster! THE SAME COURT had

earlier sacked this same Ikpeazu and said Alex Otti

of APGA was the winner. Why didn’t INEC issue

CoR to Otti ‘immediately’ then? Why did it wait till the

matter was finally resolved at the Supreme Court?”

“If the court tomorrow issues (another) order, we will obey the same. By the grace of God, I am the INEC commissioner in charge of the South-East.”

Some hours after Ogah was given Certificate of Return in Abuja, an Abia State High Court in Osisioma, presided over by Justice H.C Ahuchaogu, ordered the Chief Judge of the state or any other judge in the state from inaugurating Ogah.

On the evening of the Monday (June 27), impeccable sources told me in Owerri, where I have been since Monday, that INEC was under massive pressure to issue Certificate of Return to Ogah who would be sworn-in and then decamp to the ruling APC.

I dismissed it but it seemed the rumour might be true after all. This is why.

I spoke to my lawyer friend, K Bolanle Akingbolu, one of the most brilliant lawyers of his generation who is well grounded in litigation and electoral matters for his opinion on the matter. 

While KB, as we fondly call him, might have his sympathy for APC, he is very honest and always fair in his analysis. 

To him, no matter your interest, law should serve the plaintiff, the defendant and the society. 

According to him, since Ikpeazu and his party have filed appeal as well as stay of execution, INEC has no right under the law to issue certificate of return to Ogah. 

His words:

“Even the filing of the stay of execution alone, even if it has not be heard, must be respected by INEC. Not to talk that an appeal has been filed immediately. 

“If INEC had issued certificate of return on that same day, it would have claimed it was obeying the ‘immediate’ portion of the court sacking Ikpeazu. 

“But waiting for THREE days and now issuing the CoR showed that something was fishing.”

This is where I am worried. It is now obvious that INEC was railroaded by external forces to issue CoR to Ogah. Very obvious!

Reason being that we have seen courts sacking governors so many times but INEC has NEVER rushed like this to issue CoR to anyone without waiting to see if the defendant will explore the option of appeal. 

THE SAME COURT had earlier sacked this same Ikpeazu and said Alex Otti of APGA was the winner. 

Why didn’t INEC issue CoR to Otti ‘immediately’ then? Why did it wait till the matter was finally resolved at the Supreme Court?

This INEC is a disaster. 

I can authoritatively tell anyone who cared to listen that there was no inconclusive election in Kogi last year. 

INEC was forced to say so after the forces against late Abubakar Audu and Faleke saw that the former was dead and did not want Faleke to benefit from the mandate that had already been given to them.

With this INEC, Nigerians can kiss a free and fair 2019 election goodbye. 

And you know what? To some who could swallow the President’s waste, this is the best INEC since 1960!

Samuel Ajayi

 

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