Court sacks Anambra central senator, Obiora Okonkwo

Court sacks Anambra central senator, Obiora Okonkwo

Earlier, Okonkwo's effort to postpone the rerun at the Appeal Court failed as a ruling on the matter by a three-man panel of justices presided by Justice Abubakar Datti Yahaya, held that the earlier order made on November 20, 2017 directing INEC to conduct election for the senatorial seat within 90 days can not be reversed so as not to make mockery of the judiciary.

Chief Ifeatu Obi-Okoye, National Publicity Secretary of APGA, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Awka that INEC had demonstrated "constitutionality and character" on the matter.

The judgment that pronounced Obiora Okonkwo victor of the Anambra Central Senatorial District election in March 2015 has been set aside by Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, Nigeria's capital.

Justice John Tsoho in the ruling held that Okonkwo suppressed fact when he said he was not a party in the Appeal Court judgment, whereas his party, the PDP was a party to all the judgments, adding that the PDP has already filed a notice of appeal against the judgment of the Court of Appeal.

INEC had in a motion filed on December 21 asked the court to set aside the judgment which it said was in contrast with three subsisting decisions of the Court of Appeal.

"In effect the court said that the PDP did not hold any primary, so they could not have fielded a valid candidate because the conduct of a primary is "sine qua non" to the nomination of a candidate".

The court had, on December 13, 2017, ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to immediately issue a Certificate of Return to Okonkwo as the senator for the Senatorial District on the strength of the consent judgement.

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He also disagreed with Okonkwo that he was not a party to the Appeal Court case.

He therefore submitted that his court, being a lower court, was bound by the decision of the appellate court in the instant case.

"Unfortunately, the Federal High Court ruled otherwise today".

"The question is can the decision of a High Court upturn the decision of the Court of Appeal?" The answer obviously is no.

Obi-Okoye said the election would be a keen contest as four political parties would be taking part in the process. Hence, the determination of my right as a candidate takes pre-eminence over the post-election petition that was nullified.

The Minister was the candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) at the 2015 Anambra Central Senatorial election.