- The chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, has petitioned Justice Abdul Abdu-Kafarati, to disqualify the judge that issued arrest warrant against him
- The INEC boss, in his petition alleged that Justice Stephen Pam, was determined to send him to prison without recourse to the rule of law
- Yakubu noted that Justice Pam had personalised the contempt charge initiated against him by the Anambra state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)
Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has petitioned the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Abdul Abdu-Kafarati, to disqualify the judge that issued arrest warrant against him, Vanguard reports.
NAIJ.com gathered that the INEC boss, in the petition he filed through his team of lawyers led by Chief Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN, alleged that Justice Stephen Pam, was determined to send him to prison without recourse to the rule of law.
Yakubu also alleged that the trial judge exhibited bias tendencies against him by issuing a bench warrant for his arrest, when condition precedents for the issuance of such order was not fulfilled.
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The INEC boss told the chief justice that Justice Pam has personalised the contempt charge that was initiated against him by the Anambra state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by insisting that he must appear in court despite a motion challenging the competence of the proceeding before him.
As a result, he begged the chief justice to in the interest of fair hearing, transfer the matter to another Judge for hearing.
At the resumed proceeding on Wednesday, August 8, Justice Pam, declined to hands-off the matter, saying he had yet to receive any directive from the chief justice.
The Judge said he was persuaded by argument of counsel to the Anambra State PDP, Goddy Uche, SAN, that Yakubu’s request for an adjournment of the case lacked merit.
Uche had opposed Yakubu’s plea for the case to be adjourned, arguing that mere filing of a petition was not sufficient to void the FIAT that the CJ gave to the Judge to preside over the special court he constituted to hear the contempt charge.
He contended that the INEC boss ought to have submitted himself to the court as he was ordered to do, before raising issues pertaining to the competence of the proceeding and objectivity of the judge.
The Applicants told the court that contrary to the apex court’s verdict, both INEC and its Chairman, have continued to relate with another faction of the PDP in the state.
Prof. Yakubu in his defense however, claimed that no order was made against him since he was not in office in 2014, insisting that he could not be held liable for disrespecting any court order.
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He subsequently lodged an appeal before the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal to challenge the validity of the arrest warrant against him.
The INEC Chairman, in his six grounds of appeal, said he was denied fair hearing by the trial Judge, saying he was not properly served with an enrolled summon by the court’s bailiff.
NAIJ.com previously reported that Justice Stephen Pam of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Wednesday, August 8, ordered the Inspector General of Police to arrest and bring the chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission, Mahmood Yakubu, to court for refusing to obey a valid order court.
INEC officials Abuja court - NAIJ.com TV