Stella-Oduah-and-Andy-UbaTHERE ARE
strong indications
that the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN,
Justice Mahmud Mohammed may
order the arrest and prosecution of
Chief Chris Ubah, Senator Annie
Okonkwo and others who have
refused to obey the decision of the
apex court on lawmakers in the
National Assembly from Anambra
State.
In spite of the Supreme Court
clarification that confirmed the
membership of Senators Andy Uba
and Stella Oduah in the Senate
and eight others in the House of
Representatives, the Chris Uba
faction has again demanded that
the Independent National Electoral
Commission, INEC, issue them with
certificates of return to facilitate their
going to the National Assembly.
A highly placed source in the office
of the CJN yesterday told Nigerian
Pilot Sunday that the leadership
of Supreme Court under the CJN
is not happy with the politicians
for deliberately refusing to respect
the court’s position after they have
decided and settled the matter.
According to the judicial source,
the CJN will soon instruct the
inspector General of police, IGP,
Solomon Arase, to arrest and
institute a contempt charge against
Ubah and Okonkwo who failed
to unseat Senator Andy Uba and
Senator Stella Oduah which the apex
court affirmed their elections.
His words “the hierarchy of the
judiciary is not happy after they
have settled the matter, Andy Uba,
Stella Oduah and the seven reps
members remain elected, there is
nothing one can do except you will
appeal to God.”
The faction demanded that the
certificates of return sustaining Andy
Uba, Stella Oduah and eight others
be voided by INEC to enable them
make replacements in the National
Assembly on the ground that they
were the authentic candidates of
the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP,
who won the National Assembly
elections in the affected senatorial
districts and federal constituencies
in Anambra State.
In a fresh strongly worded letter to
the INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmoud
Yakubu, the Chris Ubah faction,
maintained that there was no court
order upon which the membership
of the Andy Uba, Stella Oduah and
others in the National Assembly can
be sustained.
The letter, titled: “Striking out of
INEC application to Supreme Court
for judgment clarification and
request to issue certificates of return
to our clients”, dated February 24,
2016, was written by their lawyer,
Mr. Anthony Ozioko of the Law
Rescue firm in Abuja.
The letter reads in part: “Our
previous correspondence dated
February 10, 2016 wherein we
complained of the impropriety of
the application for clarification of
judgment at the Supreme Court
refers:
“You may recall that we urged
you sir, to use your good office
to withdraw the motion that was
pending at the Supreme Court
in view of the fact that there is no
ambiguity in the judgment that
required clarification.
“We are pleased to inform you
that on 24th of February, 2016, the
INEC motion for clarification came
up at the Supreme Court for hearing
and the Supreme Court upheld our
client’s preliminary objection that
the court had no jurisdiction to
entertain such a motion.
“The motion was struck out and
the court maintained that there was
no ambiguity in its judgment of
January 29, 2016
“In view of the foregoing, the
coast is now clear for our clients to
be issued with certificates of return
to go to the Senate as there is nothing
hindering your commission from
complying with orders of court
and issuing our clients with their
certificates of return.
“Therefore, we request your
good office to toe the honorable
path and follow the due process
of law, and issue our clients with
their certificates of return without
any further delay.
The Supreme Court had on
February 24, the day the letter of
Chris Uba was written, declined
to review its judgment delivered
on the 29th of January in favour of
the Ejike Oguebego led Executive
Committee of the PDP in Anambra
State.
The court claimed that
the judgment was clear and
unambiguous as it relates to the
leadership of PDP in the state only
and not on any other issue that
was not brought before the court
for adjudication by the affected
parties.
In a ruling delivered by Justice
John Iyang Okoro in an application
filed by the INEC seeking the review,
clarifications and consequences of
the judgment on the status of the
national assembly members from
Anambra State, the apex court held
that the judgment by its ordinary
meaning did not need to be subjected
to any clarification.
In the unanimous ruling of
5-member panel of Justices of the
Court, Justice Okoro however
said that the dispute on whether
the certificates of return should
be withdrawn from the serving
lawmakers and giving to the list of
candidates of the Oguebego faction
was not an issue before the court
and that the court never made any
pronouncement to that effect.
The INEC through its counsel,
Chief Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN
had filed an application at the
Supreme Court dated February
8 asking the Apex Court to give
interpretation, implication and
consequences of the judgment
delivered on January 29 as it
relates to the status of the National
Assembly members from Anambra.
But the court in the ruling,
however, said that the controversy
and confusion on the status of
the lawmakers was unnecessary
because the National Assembly
Election Petition Tribunal and the
Court of Appeal have determined
their status in their various
judgments.
Justice Okoro said that since the
Court of Appeal was the final arbiter
and had made pronouncement,
there was no need to invite Supreme
Court to make any clarification on
a concluded matter that was not
ambiguous.
Beside, Justice Okoro said that
there was no dispute in the claim
of the PDP National Executive
Committee that it submitted the
list of nominated candidates for
National Assembly election to
the INEC, having conducted the
primary election in line with the
PDP constitution.
The Supreme Court also stated
that the same claim was alluded
to by INEC that it accepted the
list of nominated candidates for
National Assembly election from
PDP National Secretariat being
the body vested with power to
conduct primary election for the
nomination.
Justice Okoro therefore advised
lawyers especially the senior ones
to always give their clients genuine
advice and should not turn
themselves to slaves of politicians.
Reacting to the ruling counsel to
INEC Chief Awomolo said that the
decision of the court has resolved
the blackmail and confusion
employed by parties in the case to
suit their own individual purposes
at the expense of the merit of the
case.
However, counsel to the Ejike
Oguebego faction Chief Chris
Uche SAN said that the ruling
has cleared the way for his client
to benefit from the judgment
delivered on January 29th 2016.

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