Stop disobeying court orders, Lawyer tells INEC chair

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu has been advised to appear before an Abuja High Court on Tuesday, in obedience to a valid court order by Justice Stephen Pam demanding him to do so over contempt.

The contempt proceeding against the INEC Chairman was filed by Ejike Oguebego and Chuks Okoye, Chairman and Legal Adviser of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Anambra State who were not recognised by Yakubu despite a court order that they should be recognised.

A Human Rights ‎Activist, Ugochukwu Osuagwu, at a press conference yesterday, in Abuja, said that Yakubu had “refused” to appear before the court on three different occasions – July 5, 10 and August 8, 2018 – as ordered by the court and should appear today being the fourth time, to defend himself.

“With the coming of Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ADJA) Section 306, there is no more provision for a lawyer or litigant to file an application for stay of proceedings. It has been prohibited.

“I am worried that in spite of this Act, Yakubu did not show up even when the motion has been dismissed. By the time we don’t obey court orders, we are calling for anarchy. If we don’t respect our judiciary, we are calling for crisis.

“So, I appeal to Yakubu to keep a date with the court for August 14. He cannot be superior to Nigeria. The Constitution which set up the court also established INEC,” he said.

However, the Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi, “I don’t know if Ugochukwu Osuagwu is truly a Barrister, because if he is, he should have known that he cannot give a press briefing or make statements on a case that is in court.

“It is not only an irresponsible act, it is also suspicious. What is his interest in this matter and why has he taken it upon himself to make such comments about a case that is in court?

“Does he have the facts of the case? His utterances are disappointing, unfortunate and are, in my opinion, a breach of the Code of Conduct of Legal Practitioners. Since this case is in court, I will not want to dabble into it.”

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