APGA Leadership Crisis: We Didn’t Disobey the Court Order — INEC


By Izunna Okafor, Awka

The Independent National Electoral Commission has debunked the allegation that it is disobeying the judgement of the Supreme Court on the crisis rocking the leadership of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).

The Commission stated this in a statement issued on Tuesday by its National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye.

Okoye, in the statement, captioned “The Commission’s Position on the Leadership of APGA”, stated emphatically that the Commission did not disobey the court order on the matter, against the posters and statements being circulated on the social media by a ‘group’ accusing INEC of refusing to obey a judgement purportedly recognising Chief Edozie Njoku as the authentic National Chairman of APGA.

He recalled that the said suit started from the Jigawa State High Court, and was initiated by one Alhaji Rabiu Garba Aliyu against Chief Jude Okeke and three others. He also noted that Chief Edozie Njoku was not a party to the suit.

He said, “One of the reliefs sought is a ‘Declaration that the national officers of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, including the Plaintiff, who were elected at its national convention held in Owerri, Imo State on 31st May 2019 shall remain in office and discharge their respective duties for a term of four years commencing from 31st May 2021’.”

Going further, Okoye said, “On June 30, 2021, the Jigawa State High Court in suit No: JDU/022/2021 entered judgement in favour of the said Alhaji Rabiu Garba Aliyu. On appeal, the Court of Appeal described the suit as an abuse of the court process.

“Consequently, the entire proceedings of the Jigawa State High Court in suit No. JDU/022/2021, delivered by Musa Ubale J. on 30th June 2021 and the judgement delivered thereon were accordingly set aside.

“The Supreme Court, in its judgement of 14th October 2021, affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeal.

“However, on January 2023, Chief Edozie Njoku, who was never a party to any of the suits and the processes filed in the various courts approached the Supreme Court of Nigeria as an interested person/applicant and filed a ‘Motion on Notice’ seeking for an order of the court to correct “typographical errors and accidental slip” in the lead judgement of the Supreme Court.

“This was granted, and the correction did not in any way affect the substance of the suit and the orders made by the Supreme Court.”

While reiterating that the INEC did not disobey the judgement of the Apex Court, the INEC National Commissioner further reminded the peddlers of the accusations that that courts were not helpless over their orders, judgements or pronouncements, as they also have powers to punish for disobedience of their orders.

“They also have the capacity to punish for disobedience of their orders and judgements in committal proceedings.

“This is the process open to law-abiding citizens, groups and organizations rather than resorting to cheap blackmail and using amorphous groups to malign the Commission and its officials,” he said.



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