A pressure group in Abuja, the Elections Transparency Group (ETG) has warned the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, of the consequences of the commission’s disobedience to the judgement of the Supreme Court, reaffirming Chief Edozie Njoku as the National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
The group, which gave the INEC Chairman seven days ultimatum to give effect to the Supreme Court judgement, threatened to initiate contempt proceedings against the INEC Chairman should he fail or neglect to obey the judgement.
The ETG said in a release issued on Friday, and signed by its Convener, Dr. Kazeem Adekunle, that it was strange that INEC, under Prof Yakubu, will keep going back and forth on a clear and unambiguous judgement delivered by the Supreme Court since March 24, 2023.
ETG said it is on record that the apex gave a judgement on an application by Chief Njoku, wherein he sought the regularization of the amended judgment of Justice Mary Peter Odili delivered on May 9, 2022,
Njoku’s motion followed a letter from the Supreme Court to him on January 19, 2023, wherein it had addressed him as the National Chairman of APGA and advised him to approach the Court by way of a motion to correct the slip.
In the Supreme Court judgment, Justice Garba Lawal held that it was Chief Edozie Njoku that was wrongly removed at Jigawa without being joined as a party.
The implication of the accidental slip, which the Supreme Court corrected is that Chief Edozie Njoku, who was wrongfully removed by a Jigawa High Court in Suit No: JDU/022/2021 between Alhaji Garba Aliyu and Chief Jude Okeke & 2 Ors, has been restored as the actual National Chairman of APGA.
The ETG said having been duly served the Supreme Court judgement, INEC does not have any option than to accord recognition to Chief Edozie Njoku, as the National Chairman of APGA, since he was the one wrongfully removed in the Jigawa High Court judgement that has been set aside.
The group said it will not look the other way when INEC, a creation of the constitution is acting in contempt against the rule of law, adding that Prof Yakubu must either obey the Supreme Court judgement on APGA leadership or be ready to face the consequences.
To us, Nigeria is not a banana republic and we in ETG will not allow INEC under Prof Yakubu to turn it to one.