Mrs. Margery Okadigbo
By Kunle Akogun â€¨ â€¨
Despite last week’s Supreme Court ruling declaring Mrs. Margery Okadigbo, wife of the late former Senate President, Dr Chuba Okadigbo, winner of the Anambra North senatorial election, trouble appears not over yet for the district, as the earlier declared winner of the controversial election, Senator Alphonsus Igbeke, has vowed to fight on.
The senatorial district has been the only area that has no representation more than a year into the seventh Senate.
Mrs. Okadigbo is expected to be formally inaugurated by Senate President, Senator David Mark, at Tuesday’s sitting following the last minute decision by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at the weekend to issue her a certificate of return in compliance with the apex court’s ruling.
But Igbeke who said he was still in custody of the certificate of return issued to him on May 9, 2011 by INEC, told journalists in Abuja at the weekend that it would be double standard on the part of the commission to have issued another certificate of return to Mrs Okadigbo when his (Igbeke) case with suit number SC/179 is still pending before the Supreme Court.
He said that the ruling of the apex court has nothing to do with his own appeal which he sa id was heard by the same court in July 5, 2012.
“The court did not throw away my appeal and so I will follow it up to a logical conclusion,” he stated.
Igbeke also argued that the same Supreme Court ruling did not give any consequential order asking INEC to issue her certificate of return or mandating the National Assembly to swear her in as a senator.
He contended that it was curious for the same INEC that stopped his inauguration last year on the ground that there was pending appeal in court over Anambra North election (stay of execution) to have gone ahead to issue certificate of return to Mrs. Okadigbo when ‘my own case number 179 is still pending before the supreme court’ .
He recalled how INEC had written to the National Assembly to stay action on his inauguration until all the matters concerning Anambra North election are dispensed.
The senator told newsmen that he had written to the National Assembly and INEC notifying the two institutions of his pending appeal in court and as such should stay action until it is dispensed by the court.
He said, “INEC has already erred by issuing a parallel certificate of return, when I still have my appeal number SC 179 pending at the supreme court for determination and more so there was no consequential order to that effect.
“If the National Assembly want to toe the line of truth, it has to remind INEC of its letter stopping me Igbeke from being inaugurated last year without any court order , injunction or stay of execution. INEC should tell Nigerians whether there was any order from court stopping me . The commission only said because there were pending appeals in court, and today there is still pending appeal filed by me which INEC is aware of.
“So the National Assembly may decide to remind INEC of what it did before and to say that this time around we have received a similar letter from Igbeke on his pending appeal , because the Supreme Court had already heard my appeal and it did not throw it away. So if the same court had thrown it away, it is only then the court can claim that there is nothing before it.
“That appeal came up on July 5, before the Supreme Court ruling was given on July 6. “INEC should try and be ambassador of peace and show some level of consistency but INEC ignored that and went ahead to issue a parallel certificate of return to my opponent. But I want to say that the INEC action notwithstanding, I am going to follow up my appeal properly filed before the Supreme Court and I hope justice will be done. I am a law abiding citizen and that is why I always resort to the judiciary in my struggle”.