The Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, is accused of disobeying a court order, and an FCT High Court in Bwari has set Thursday, September 14, for a formal hearing on the motion.
Following a committal charge that resulted from a lawsuit filed by plaintiffs’ attorney Michael Ajara with the case number FCT/HC/CV/4068/2023, Justice Mohammed Madugu set the date.
Otunba Camaru Lateef Ogidan and Mustapha Rabiu are the plaintiffs, and Chief Victor Oye and Prof. Yakubu are the first and second respondents in the case.
At the APGA convention in Owerri on May 31, 2019, under the direction of Chief Edozie Njoku, the party’s national chairman, Messrs. Ogidan and Rabiu were elected as the party’s National Vice Chairman for the South West Geopolitical Zone and National Welfare Officer, respectively.
Oye and Mahmood were accused in the application of disobeying and disregarding the court’s interim injunction from May 10, which required the parties to the suit to maintain the status quo ante bellum until the conclusion of the substantive suit, which was set for September 28.
Mr. Yakubu is accused of refusing to acknowledge Chief Njoku as the legitimate national chairman of the APGA and publishing the names of governorship candidates for the APGA who did not originate from Njoku for the Nov. 11 elections in Imo, Kogi, and Bayelsa.
According to the report, the head of INEC still recognises Oye as the national chairman of the APGA, in violation of the court’s ruling.
According to the motion, Oye also convened a National Executive Council, or NEC, meeting of the party in violation of a court order that forbade him from convening any meetings or holding any campaigns or conventions in the party’s name.
Chief Victor Oye was also told to quit posing as the National Chairman of APGA, according to the injunction, it stated.
When the case was called on Monday, Ajara, who represented the plaintiffs, informed the court that the motion was ripe for hearing and that the INEC chairman had been served with it on July 13. The court confirmed this information from its records.
Curiously, despite Ajara having certified true copies, or CTCs, of the documents for the two respondents, a copy of the proof of service of the contempt proceedings on Oye could not be located in the court file.
The Chief Registrar, Joseph Igboyi, was summoned to the judge’s attention to clarify if he was the one who signed the CTC in an effort to clear up the confusion, and he acknowledged that he was.
Musa Abdulwahab, the bailiff, admitted removing the original copy of the proof of service that was supposed to be in the judge’s file when he was asked to present it.
Mr. Musa never gave a justification for removing the proof of service from the court file, and this development led to a contentious debate in court.
As a result, Justice Madugu postponed the hearing on Oye’s case until September 28.