Friday October 30, 2020 7:57 PM

Court restrains INEC, Senate from executing judgement sacking Ubah

A Federal High Court in Abuja has stopped the Senate and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from executing the judgment of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Kubwa, which ordered removal of Ifeanyi Ubah as senator representing Anambra South.

On January 17, 2020, Justice Bello Kawu, who gave the earlier judgment, declined Ubah’s motion praying the court to set aside the judgment.

According to The Nation, he argued that it was fraudulently obtained.

Justice Kawu, in the judgment, sacked Ubah for allegedly submitting a forged National Examination Council (NECO) certificate to INEC in support of his nomination as a candidate for the February 23, 2019, senatorial election.

But, in Thursday’s judgment, Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, granted, among others, gave an order restraining INEC from issuing a Certificate of Return to Obinna Uzor (of the Peoples Democratic Party – PDP) who the High Court of the FCT ordered as Ubah’s replacement.

Justice Taiwo held that INEC and other defendants, in the case filed by Ubah, could not proceed to comply with the order of the FCT High Court in defiance of the subsisting judgments of the National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal and the Court of Appeal, affirming Ubah’s election.

The judge, who cited sections 246(3), 285(2), of the Constitution, held that the Court of Appeal was the final court on issues pertaining to the declaration of Ubah as the winner of the senatorial election.

He restrained the defendants from complying with the judgment of the FCT High Court in a suit which he held was defiant to the subsisting judgment of the Elections Petitions Tribunal and affirmed by the Appeal Court.

Justice Taiwo held that INEC and the other defendants in the suit, INEC, the Clerk of the National Assembly, the Clerk of the Senate and Uzor were bound to comply with the latter judgment of the Election Petitions Tribunal and Court of Appeal delivered on September 9, 2019, and October 29, 2019, respectively, affirming Ubah’s election.

The judge declared, among others, that “the first defendant (INEC) has no vires to ignore the post-election judgment of the election tribunal in the petition on Uba Christian C. vs INEC and 10 others in preference for the post-election judgment of the FCT High Court.

He also gave an order “directing the defendants to obey and give effect to the judgment of the Court of Appeal delivered in appeal, 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”.

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