INEC chairman appeals against court order for his arrest

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The Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC),  Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, has filed an appeal challenging the arrest warrant issued against him by the Federal High Court, Abuja.

In the appeal, Yakubu is challenging the validity of the arrest warrant that was issued against him by the court.

The appeal filed by Mr Adegbeoyega Awomolo (SAN), Counsel to the appellant, was made available to newsmen on Thursday in Abuja.

The INEC boss maintained that he could not be arrested on the basis of a bench warrant that was legally defective.

He urged the Court of Appeal to invoke its powers and void the arrest order  made by Justice Stephen Pam.

Pam had in a bench ruling on Wednesday ordered the Police to arrest and produce Yakubu in court on Aug. 8 to face contempt charges.

The order followed Yakubu’s  failure to honour a summons the court issued for him to appear in respect of a suit involving the Anambra chapter of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The INEC chairman had between July 5 and July 10 allegedly failed to honour the court’s summons to defend a contempt proceeding.

The case was initiated against him by Mr Ejike Oguebego, the Chairman of PDP, and Mr Chuks Okoye, the Legal Adviser of the party, in Anambra.

The High Court had ordered him to appear to show cause why he should not be committed to prison for refusing to recognise the Oguebego-led faction of the party in line with the judgment of the Supreme Court.

The applicants had prayed the court to jail the chairman for disregarding the judgment.

Yakubu, however, denied disobeying any order of court, adding that he was denied fair hearing by the trial court.

The INEC boss said there was no evidence that any court summons was enrolled and served him.

He argued that the lower court erred in law when it ordered that he should be arrested for allegedly disobeying its order.

He urged the appellate court to hold that the conditions necessary to warrant the issuance of bench warrant had not been satisfied.(NAN)

Biola Lawal

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