After the Supreme had put to rest to the leadership crises rocking the Anambra Peoples Democratic Party, PDP affirming Senator Andy Uba, Stella Oduah and other lawmakers in the state as duly elected members of National Assembly, the matter has resurfaced before a Federal High court Abuja.
The suit was instituted by Senator Annie Okonkwo.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Peoples Democratic Party
(PDP), had asked the Federal High Court, Abuja to dismiss the suit brought before it by Okonkwo and 43 others.
Okonkwo and his colleagues were challenging the validity of primary election conducted by the PDP, which produced Senators Andy Uba,Stella Oduah, and others, as candidates for the 2015 National Assembly elections.
Both INEC and PDP held that the legal action instituted by Senator Annie Okonkwo and 43 others was a gross abuse of court process on the ground that the issues raised by the Plaintiffs had already been resolved by the Supreme Court.
Okonkwo and others had through their lawyers; Chief Asam Asam (SAN) dragged INEC, PDP, Uba,Oduah and 15 lawmakers in the National Assembly and Anambra State House of Assembly before the Court, asking the court to invalidate the nomination of the defendants.
The Plaintiffs also applied for an order of the court restraining INEC from accepting the nomination of Uba and his colleagues in the national and state assemblies on the ground that they were not nominated by the state executive committee of PDP led by Mr. Ejike Oguebegu.
The Plaintiffs claimed that since Oguebegu- led Anambra State PDP committee conducted the primary election, nominated them and their names published by INEC, it was wrong in law for their names to be withdrawn from INEC’s list.
They also demanded in their suit that the purported removal of their names from the INEC list violated provisions of the law and should be set aside while their names are restored.
However, in the adoption of final addresses before Justice Adeniyi Ademola, INEC, while opposing the suit, claimed that the case of Okonkwo and other Plaintiffs had been overtaken by a Supreme Court judgment delivered on January 29 by Justice John Iyang-Okoro.
Counsel to INEC, Dr. Onyeachi Ikpeazu (SAN) while adopting the final address of the electoral body, told justice Ademola that the case of the plaintiffs constituted a gross abuse of court process since the issue in contention had already been resolved by the Supreme Court.
INEC claimed that in that Supreme Court judgment , Justice Okoro made it clear that the power to conduct a primary election for the nomination of candidates for national assembly elections is vested in the national executive committee of a political party and not in the state executive of any party.
In the instant case, INEC claimed that the fact that the national executive committee of the PDP conducted the primary election for the nomination of national assembly members from Anambra state was not in dispute.
He, however, pointed out that it was wrong of the plaintiffs to be claiming to be PDP nominees for the 2015 national assembly election because their primary elections were unlawful, illegally and unconstitutionally conducted by Anambra State chapter of PDP under Oguebegu.
The counsel further argued that the plaintiffs were just asking the Court to have a head-on
collision with the Supreme Court which, will not be in the best interest of the judiciary and litigants.
He therefore urged Justice Ademola to decline the invitation of the plaintiffs to dabble into an issue that had already been resolved by the apex court by dismissing the suit for lacking merit.
Also in its final argument, Counsel to PDP, Emeka Etiaba (SAN) asked the court to dismiss the suit on the ground that the right organ of the Party vested with power conducted the primary election that produced the nomination of the national lawmakers from State for the 2015 election.
PDP also submitted that the purported claim of the plaintiffs as the right candidates to be in the National Assembly cannot stand in law because the purported primary election conducted by the Obuebegu-led state executive committee was not known to any law.
Counsel for Senators Andy Uba, Stella Oduah and other defendants in the suit, unanimously adopted the position of INEC and PDP and urged the Judge to dismiss the suit.
Justice Ademola has adjourned the matter till July 8,2016 for judgment.
The supreme court had declined to interpret a judgment it gave on January 29 involving the chairmanship of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Anambra state.
The court held that the judgment had nothing to do with the status of Stella Oduah, Andy Uba and other lawmakers elected on the platform of the PDP in Anambra state as federal lawmakers.
The court held that it did not have the jurisdiction to review any judgment it had given.
”The judgement of this court is final as reflected in the 1999 constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria (as amended),” it stated.
“On the whole I hold the view that this court has no jurisdiction to entertain this motion from Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). This matter is hereby stuck out.”
INEC had filed a case at the apex court seeking clarification of the January 29 ruling of the court, which reinstated Ejike Oguebego as the chairman of PDP Anambra state chapter.
The court explained that it only dispensed with the case of leadership of the PDP in Anambra state, and not matters regarding the lawmakers’ seats.
It stated the issue of primary election as regards the emergence of the lawmakers as candidates of the PDP for the national assembly election was not included in the appeal that came before it.
The supreme court pointed out that it had ruled on many occasions that only the national executive of a party could send a list of candidates to INEC for an election, and that since the electoral body admitted that it was the national executive of the PDP that nominated the lawmakers, and not a caretaker committee, there was no contest in the matter.
The generality of Nigerians and legal luminary across the country are asking that is the Okonkwo,s, Ubahs above the law?

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