The coast is now clear for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to proceed with conducting Saturday’s rerun for the disputed Anambra Central senatorial seat as an Abuja Division of the Federal High Court has set aside its December 12 judgement affirming Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Obiora Okonkwo, as the rightful candidate to occupy the Anambra Central senatorial seat.
In a judgement on Friday, following an application by INEC, the court said its previous judgement which was based on the consent of parties could not be viewed as a final judgement on the matter.
According to the judge, John Tsoho, the judgement which was strongly relied upon by Okonkwo’s lawyer, cannot be regarded as a final judgment on the matter.
“It must be realised that the judgement entered in this court is a consent judgement. It is not one on merit, therefore the court has jurisdiction to revisit it. It cannot be regarded as a final judgment”.
Mr. Tsoho held that the actions of the respondent counsel in the suit, namely the Peoples Democratic Party, which resulted in the December judgement was questionable given the Appeal Court judgement which ordered a re-election without the inclusion of the party.
“It is enough ground to set aside the decision,” Mr. Tsoho said.
Earlier, Okonkwo’s effort to postpone the rerun at the Appeal Court failed as a ruling on the matter by a three-man panel of justices presided by Justice Abubakar Datti Yahaya, held that the earlier order made on November 20, 2017 directing INEC to conduct election for the senatorial seat within 90 days cannot be reversed so as not to make mockery of the judiciary.
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