Court Approves Suit Seeking to Commit INEC Chairman Yakubu to Prison, Sets Hearing Date

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A Federal Capital Territory High Court sitting in Bwari has fixed September 14 for the hearing of a motion seeking to commit Mahmood Yakubu, the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to prison for allegedly disobeying a court order.

Bellnews reports that the motion was filed by Otunba Ogidan and Mustapha Rabiu, who were elected as the national vice chairman of the southwest geopolitical zone of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and national welfare officer, respectively, during a convention in Owerri, Imo State, on May 31, 2019.

In their application, Ogidan and Rabiu alleged that Yakubu flouted and ignored the court’s interim injunction of May 10, which ordered parties in the suit to maintain status quo ante bellum pending the determination of the substantive suit fixed for September 28.

They specifically accused Yakubu of refusing to recognise Edozie Njoku, the national chairman of APGA, as the rightful national chairman of the party, and of publishing names of governorship candidates for the November 11 off-cycle governorship polls in Imo, Kogi, and Bayelsa, which did not emanate from Njoku.

The plaintiffs also alleged that INEC continued to recognise Victor Oye, the factional chairman of APGA, as the national chairman of the party, in disobedience to the court order.

They further alleged that Oye held a National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the party in disobedience to the court injunction, which barred him from calling any meeting or holding any campaign or convention in the name of the party.

When the matter was called on Monday, the court’s chief registrar, Joseph Igboyi, confirmed that the motion seeking to commit Yakubu to prison had been served on him on July 13. However, the original copy of the proof of service could not be found in the court file.

The bailiff, Musa Abdulwahab, admitted that he removed the original copy of the proof of service from the file, but did not state why he did so.

The hearing on Oye’s matter has been adjourned to September 28 by the presiding judge, Mohammed Madugu, for further hearing.

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