Anambra Central controversy: Court cancels judgement that affirmed PDP's Obiora Okonkwo senator

Court sacks Anambra central senator, Obiora Okonkwo

The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the Anambra Central Senatorial district, Dr. Obiora Okonkwo, said the judgment of the Federal High Court vacating it's earlier consent judgment that was entered in his favour can not stand as he has vowed to challenge it at the Court of Appeal.

Obi-Okoye said the decision of INEC to obey the Court of Appeal judgment over that of a Federal High Court was in tandem with the principle of legal jurisprudence which says the decision of a high court will at all times supersede that of a lower court.

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.

The judgment of the Abuja Federal High Court came a day to the re-run election in Anambra Central Senatorial District.

But INEC, through its lawyer, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), had filed a motion before the court contending that the court lacked the powers to order it to issue Certificate of Return to Okonkwo, when the Court of Appeal, which is higher in hierarchy, had earlier made definite orders that a fresh election should be conducted.

"It is significant to note that I went to court in this present case even before the March 2015 National Assembly election".

He insisted that the application was incompetent in law.

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

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

"On that basis, this court is not rendered functus officio".

"In this case, the PDP has lost the seat, therefore there is no seat to replace and again there is no tenure to serve because the election in question has been nullified, the question of pre-election matter does not arise. It can not be described as a final judgment to strip the court of its jurisdiction to revisit it".

The judge further held that in the doctrine of precedent, the court of appeal's decision took precedent over and above that of any lower court.

The Judge further stated that he was liable to set aside the earlier judgment because it was not based on merit. "Consequently, this suit is adjourned indefinitely pending the outcome of the appeals filed by the PDP at the Supreme Court".

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