Â By Christopher Isiguzo in Enugu
A former National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Victor Umeh, yesterday berated two senior lawyers, Chief Femi Falana and Olisa Agbakoba, on their positions in the pending rerun election for the Anambra Central senatorial district.
The duo were reported to have said that the INEC was right to withhold the conduct of the disputed election pending the determination of the suit filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Umeh is the candidate of APGA in the pending election.
Speaking with journalists in Enugu, Umeh said it was either the two top lawyers did not have the judgments subsisting on the matter before they made their comments or were in obvious attempt to ridicule the course of law.Â
â€œI am sure they did not have the two judgments delivered by the same court, Justice Anwuli Chikelu of the Federal High Court on the Anambra Central senatorial rerun election. One, she said that PDP should be included and later this year said there is no room for fresh candidates in that court ordered election which ordinarily would have cleared the way for INEC to go and conduct the election without any fresh candidates.
â€œPDP which is waiting to take part in the election according to the order will put a new candidate which she has ruled on March 14 2017, that there is no room for fresh candidate. There is a principal of law that when a judge delivers two judgments on the same subject matter, the later in time prevails.
â€œSo Falana and Agbakoba are aware of these developments and I was surprised that they were talking about doctrine of les pendings and cited the case of Peter Obi vs INEC in 2007. They cannot claim to be ignorant of the clear provisions of section 87 (10) of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended, which clearly provided that no action pending in court and no court order can stop the holding of an election.Â
â€œIf they are talking of doctrine of les pendings in 2007, the Electoral Act 2010 in section 87 (10) as amended has taken care of that because our lawmakers were aware that somebody who is not prepared for an election can go to court and institute an action to stop an election he will lose.Â
â€œSo the lawmakers now said no suit in court can stop holding of an election. This election is a general election and the two senior advocates who said when a matter is in court you must wait, are economical with the truth.
â€œI would say that somebody hired them, Agbakoba and Falana, to make that statement because the circumstance or the event where they made those statements was not revealed. Apparently INEC want to use those names to cover their lack of doing the needful.Â â€œAs I speak with you, there is no legal impediment to the conduct of that election but as people who are at the receiving end, we have patiently been following the matter at the Court of Appeal. Very soon, that order they are referring to will be decided upon at Court of Appeal and when that happens, we will know what will be the position of INEC, Falana and Agbakoba. I am waiting patiently and it will soon come.â€Â