With just four days to the November 18 governorship election in Anambra State, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been dragged before a Federal High Court sitting in Awka to enforce the Court of Appeal decision in Barrister Jezie Ekejiuba v. INEC Anor Appeal No. CA/E/170/2014 pursuant to the clear provision of Section 287 (2) of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria as amended.
In a letter to the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu through the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Anambra State, Jezie Ekejiuba, President, Voters Rights International informed the Chairman that the propriety of the “Commission’s disobedience to the subsisting, extant and live Court of Appeal decisions/judgment orders as contained in my above Court of Appeal judgment which have not been stayed or set aside by any Court of competent jurisdiction have now been turned over to the Court for adjudication.
The Human Rights Lawyer stated further: “The Originating Summons Suit No. FHC/AWK/CS/154/2017 Barrister Jezie Ekejiuba v. INEC filed in Court on 7th November, 2017 was duly served on your Commission on 10th November, 2017. The suit coming up for hearing on Tuesday 14th November, 2017 before Hon. Justice I.B. Oweibo sitting at Court 2 is backed up with applications for interim and interlocutory injunction.
“I hereby attach the relevant Court Processes for your information and necessary action. I hope that your Commission will do the needful in the light of the well-established principle of law as enunciated in EZEGBU V. FATB (1992) 1 NWLR (Part 220) Page 669 per Niki Tobi JCA (as he then was) which held…’Parties are aware of a pending Court Process, and whether the Court has not given a specific injunction order, parties are bound to maintain the status quo pending the determination of the Court Process. They should, on no account resort to self-help…’
“Because this Court decision enforcement interpretation case bore same resemblance with tenure interpretation case of Peter Obi v. INEC, it is my firm belief that all actions regarding the conduct of any general election in Nigeria including the Anambra State governorship election scheduled to be conducted on November 18, 2017 or any other date be suspended or postponed pending the resolution of the matter before the Court.” (News Express)