Fidelity bank banner UBA banner
Anambra Central: Okonkwo writes INEC, demands immediate issuance of Certificate of Return

By News Express on 15/12/2017

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon Share on Google+

Views: 962

•Anambra Central Senator-elect, Dr. Obiora Okonkwo
•Anambra Central Senator-elect, Dr. Obiora Okonkwo

Dr. Obiora Okonkwo, who was on Wednesday declared Senator for Anambra Central by a Federal High Court in Abuja, has written the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), demanding immediate issuance of a Certificate of Return to him, as ordered by the court.

Justice John Tsoho had ordered INEC to issue a certificate of return to Okonkwo without delay.

He also ordered the Senate President to swear-in Okonkwo to occupy the vacant seat.

The letter to INEC dated December 14, 2017 and titled “Request to issue certificate of return to Dr. Obiora Okonkwo in compliance with judgment of the Federal High court in suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/1092/2014 delivered on 13th December, 2017”, signed by Chief Sebastine Hon SAN, reads in part: “We respectfully, but firmly, request Sir, that you issue/cause to be issued, our client the said Certificate of Return as ordered by the Federal High Court forthwith to enable our client present himself to the leadership of the Senate for inauguration.”

The letter was received at the office of the INEC Chairman at about4.30pm on Thursday.

It further reads: “We are counsel to Dr. Obiora Okonkwo, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate that won the party’s nomination to contest the March 2015 election for Anambra Central Senatorial District but was unlawfully and wrongfully denied the ticket, which ticket was handed to Chief (Mrs.) Uche Ekwunife. He is hereinafter referred to as 'our client'; and we hereby wrote on his instructions.

“Aggrieved by that clearly unlawful decision of the PDP, our client took out an originating summons in December 2014, challenging the actions of the PDP. Joined as defendants in the suit were PDP, then Chairman of PDP, Alhaji Adamu Muazu, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Chief (Mrs.) Uche Ekwunife.

“In the course of the trial, however, counsel to the PDP and the PDP Chairman; counsel to INEC and counsel to Chief (Mrs.) Uche Ekwunife, all submitted to judgment, as per the claims in the amended originating summons and the motion for judgment filed and served on them by the plaintiff (our client). It is instructive to note that the Motion on Notice sought for consequential orders, including an order that INEC should forthwith issue our client with a Certificate of Return and that he should be immediately sworn in as Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“In the course of the hearing on Wednesday, 13th December, 2017, all defence counsel again conceded and submitted to judgment; hence the Hon. Justice John Tsoho of the Federal High Court, Abuja entered judgment for our client as per claims in the amended originating summons as prayed in relief 3 of the motion on notice.”

Okonkwo also attached all documents referred to in the letter made available to INEC.

He reminded INEC that “your commission, Sir, has already scheduled a fresh election into this Senatorial District for 18/12018,” adding that “we however submit as follows: that the decision of the Court of Appeal ordering fresh election, delivered on 7/12/2015 did not nullify the victory of the sponsoring political party – the PDP – but merely held that Hon. Uche Ekwunife, the so-called PDP candidate for the election, was not duly nominated by the PDP.

“The Court of Appeal in that decision also held that the APGA candidate, Chief (Sir) Victor Umeh, could also not be declared winner of the said election, since he did not poll the highest number of votes.

“Therefore, that the Court of Appeal did not nullify the March 2015 election into Anambra Central Senatorial District but merely held that Hon. Uche Ekwunife could not prove her due nomination by the PDP. Now that the Federal High Court in suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/1092/2014 has held that our client was duly nominated candidate of the PDP in that election; and in view of the settle case law that it is a political party as opposed to a candidate that wins an election, our client should, as ordered by Justice Tsoho J., be issued a certificate of return forthwith, to enable the Senate leadership inaugurate him as Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

Okonkwo also reminded INEC that his suit predated any other matter affecting Anambra Central Senatorial District as it was a pre-election suit.

He said: “At the time the decision of the election tribunal was delivered, our client’s suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/1092/2014 was already pending; and INEC was defendant therein.”

Okonkwo said he could not have been bound by the outcome of the election tribunal matter because he was not a party to it, adding that an earlier ruling on the matter by Justice A. R. Mohammed, also of the Federal High court, had held that “it was the 4th defendant (Ekwunife) that was disqualified as a person from contesting in the election and not PDP as a party”, and that “the plaintiff’s cause of action is different from the cause of action canvassed and argued at the election tribunal and on appeal at the Court of Appeal”.

In the concluding part of the letter, Okonkwo told INEC that “it is a notorious principle of law that decisions in pre-election matters outlast and rank superior to whatever happens in post-election electoral disputes. That is why in a countless number of cases, superior courts of record have ordered candidates to take the place of the ‘candidates’ who were alleged to have been  nominated and who had gone ahead to contest and ‘win’ in the consequent general elections.”

References were made to the Supreme Court judgments in Jev v Iyortyom, Gbileve v Addingi and Amaechi V INEC to buttress the position of the law.

INEC’s response is still being awaited.​



Source News Express

Posted 15/12/2017 01:12:57 AM


Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon Share on Google+




You may also like...

Apapa gridlock: Open eastern ports for cargoes, importers...

Supreme Court fixes date to hear motions on...

Lagos primary: APC NWC meets Ambode, seeks way...

Obasanjo’s big thief and the small thief, By...

Communications Minister, Adebayo Shittu, in certificate scandal

Religious leaders should not be involved in partisan...

Ondo governorship: HURIWA warns INEC on credibility deficit...

Gunmen abduct Delta Poly lecturer

Democracy Day: Don’t address Nigerians, PDP tells Buhari,...

Nigerian Government and Shell should be ashamed of...

Heavy casualties as Nigerian troops vanquish Boko Haram...


Latest News 2019: APC buying PVCs at N3,000, N10,000 — PDP Salaries, pensions: NLC draws battle-line with governors Having sex in a car in public not a crime, says Police Buhari’s refusal to sign Electoral Act, a ploy to rig 2019 elections — Wike NIS launches gun-boat in Cross River to curb illegal migration 2019: Buhari, Atiku, others sign Peace Accord Edo Govt. seals deal to effect permanent repairs on all potholes in the state No plan to increase petrol pump price — PPPRA Woman’s outrage as alleged rapist walks free Shell emerges Local Content Operator of the year Electoral Act: Override Buhari, Peter Obi Support Network tells NASS Oyo APA guber candidate accuses NURTW of campaigning for APC candidates


Most Read NUDE PHOTO OF OMOTOLA JALADE-EKEINDE surfaces online (429,643 views) Nigerian female sex addict opens up, says ‘I like it with both men and women’ (394,659 views) Shameless Genevieve Nnaji exposes breasts in public (327,570 views) Finally named: The full list of friends of Nigerian female sex addict who prowled Facebook (280,898 views) OLUMBA OLUMBA OBU (the one who called himself God) IS DEAD (247,730 views) Igbo scholar disgraces Femi Fani-Kayode •Demolishes claims on Igbo/Yoruba history with facts and figures (229,208 views) Breaking News: POPULAR REVEREND CONVERTS TO ISLAM in Kaduna (Nigeria) (212,014 views) OBJ’s son reported dead in Lagos plane crash •Names of more victims emerge (193,219 views) My wasted years in Olumba Olumba Obu’s Evil Brotherhood (179,504 views) THE FINAL DISGRACE: Igbo scholar unleashes more facts about Igbo/Yoruba history, finishes off Femi Fani-Kayode with second article (170,382 views) Lagos plane crash: Journalist releases victims’ names (167,168 views) Gunmen kill ASP, 2 other police officers in vain bid to kidnap Rivers PDP chieftain (153,654 views)


Zenith Zero Balance First Bank chat banking


Categories Advertorials (3) African Press Organisation (81) Art & Literature (76) Business & Economy (3,873) Business Verdict (54) Columnists (972) Complaints & Requests (95) Enterprise & Opportunities (208) Entertainment (575) Features (679) Global Business Monitor (311) International (2,806) Interview (167) Live Commentary (28) Love Matters (146) Maggie's Blog (69) News (41,345) Opinion (1,150) Pidgin (13) Politics (8,120) Religion (911) Sports (1,815) Stock Watch (35) AMA & Al Jazeera Global Update





APO Group Partner




GOCOP Accredited Member

GOCOP Accredited member



Africa Media Agency and Al Jazeera