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APC crisis: Court issues contempt notice on Oshiomhole and INEC chairman


INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu

The Federal High Court sitting at Asaba on Thursday issued a contempt notice on the National chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, for disobeying its order not to submit the list of Delta State APC candidates to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the electoral body’s Chairman, Prof Mahmud Yakubu for disobeying its order not to receive and publish such candidates names for next year’s general elections until the resolution of the case.

The court noted that despite its order, dated October 17, Oshiomhole went ahead to submit names of purported National Assembly candidates from the state APC to INEC and that INEC also went ahead to receive and publish such names, even when the order directed both parties in the case not to do so, but to maintain status quo.

It would be recalled that the Chief Cyril Ogodo-led state executive of the party had dragged the APC, Oshiomhole, INEC and Jones Erue and his parallel executives to court in a suit, No: FA/ASB/CS/76/2018, over the issue of the authentic list of candidates that emerged from the parallel primaries conducted in the state through the two contending state executives.

The primaries of the Ogodo-led executive produced Prof. Pat Utomi and Olorogun O’tega Emerhor as governorship and senatorial candidates, respectively, while the Jones Erue-led executive produced Chief Great Ogboru and Senator Ovie Omo-Agege as governorship and senatorial candidates, respectively. 

The court, at its sitting issued against Oshiomhole and Yakubu Form 48, notice of Consequence of Disobedience to court order, warning: “Take notice that unless you obey the direction contained in the order, you will be guilty of contempt and you will be liable to prison.”

Earlier, the defendants failed to file their responses, claiming that they were not given the statutory time and that the Judge should first rule on their motion on notice challenging the jurisdiction of the court, maintaining that in her previous order on all parties to maintain the status quo, the Judge affirmed that she would not rule separately on jurisdiction, but shall take all motions together with the main issues.

She subsequently adjourned the matter to November 13 to give extended time to the defendants to file their responses. She also warned that she would proceed either way with the case on the adjourned date if the defendants still failed to file their responses.

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