INEC Chairman Finally Bows to Court, Confirms Njoku APGA’s National Chair

•Victor Oye’s sentencing temporarily stalled

Alex Enumah in Abuja

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, has purged himself of contempt of court by officially confirming, affirming and recognising Chief Edozie Njoku, as the National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).

The INEC boss took this position when he informed Justice Mohammed Madugu of a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT ) sitting in Bwari, of his compliance with the order of the court directing the commission to accord Njoku, recognition as APGA’s National Chairman.

Justice Madugu, had on November 9, 2023, delivered judgement on the committal proceedings brought against the purported erstwhile chairman of APGA, Chief Victor Oye (1st respondent), and Chairman of INEC, Prof Yakubu (2ndrespondent), for disobeying a valid order of the High Court made on May 10, 2023.

The court had found  Oye and Yakubu, in contempt of the order made on May 10, 2023.

The contempt charge arose from a suit  by two national officers of APGA, Otumba Camaru Ogidan and Alhaji Rabiu Mustapha, who had approached an FCT High Court, Bwari, to enforce a judgement of the Supreme Court in respect of the leadership tussle rocking APGA.

When the matter came up yesterday, Yakubu, through his lawyer, Ahmed Mohammed, told the court of his decision to purge himself of the committal order placed on him by the court.

“My Lord, on behalf of the 2nd respondent, upon being served with the Certified True Copy of the Court of Appeal judgement, delivered on June 28, 2024; same was forwarded to the Chairman, and the Commission sat on July 9, and deliberated on the two judgements.

“The Commission came out with a decision extract in compliance with the two judgements of the Court of Appeal, and which we undertake in court to serve all the parties that the commission has fully complied with the judgements; and has restored the name of the 2nd  plaintiff/applicant in its website as National Chairman of APGA,” the INEC lawyer told the court.

Mohammed also made an undertaking before Justice Madugu that he would file the meeting extract where the decision recognising and putting Chief Edozie Njoku’s name on INEC’s website was made.

Earlier, counsel to the Plaintiff/Applicants, Michael Ajara, had informed the court that the matter was fixed for sentencing of Victor Oye, having not taken any step to purge himself of contempt of court.

However, Justice Madugu could not proceed with the sentencing due to a motion filed by Oye’s lawyer, Victor Agunzi, which he served on Ajara in court.

Agunzi told the court that Oye has filed a motion for stay of the appeal court judgement as well as entered an appeal at the Supreme Court.

“What we filed at the Court of Appeal is a motion for stay of judgement of June 28, And what we filed here in this court is that in view of the appeal at the Supreme Court, and motion for stay, my lord should stay further proceedings,” Oye’s lawyer submitted.

Madugu has however adjourned to October 28, for hearing of the motion.

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