The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has refused to obey an order of the Supreme Court of Nigeria given on the 9th of May, 2022, regarding the lingering leadership crisis in the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
The Supreme Court Order had recognised Edozie Njoku as the National Chairman of APGA, correcting a mistake it made on October 14th, 2021.
An enrolled order of the Supreme Court was served on INEC on July 15th, 2022, yet INEC continues to pooh-pooh the apex Court.
Following protests and pressure on the electoral umpire, Elendureports exclusively gathered that INEC set up a special Committee chaired by Mrs May Mbu, the Commissioner Legal, to advise the board on the Supreme Court enrolled order.
Prof Sani Adams, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria who is also an INEC National Commissioner, is a member of the special committee.
Elendureports was informed by a source who is privy to the deliberations of the emergency meeting of the committee held on Monday, August 15, that the committee would recommend to the board to continue to ignore the order of the Supreme Court.
According to our sources, Prof. Sani Adams SAN, to the utter astonishment of younger members of the committee, argued that since Supreme Court had ruled that the removal of Edozie Njoku is not justiceable, INEC should stay out of it and allow Edozie Njoku and Victor Oye resolve the matter themselves.
“What the learned silk was arguing is basically that we should allow APGA to sort itself out. That is a smart way to ignore the Supreme Court order while pretending to obey it. We were shocked that such a senior lawyer who should know better was arguing that we foist a fate accompli on APGA by refusing to obey a Supreme Court order effectively. ”
Another lawyer at the meeting but could not counter Sani Adam’s argument for fear of recrimination said, “The Supreme Court order is very clear, nothing ambiguous about it. Edozie Njoku is the one who the Jigawa Court suspended. It was the case that went up to the Supreme Court. Oye’s name on the Court’s earlier ruling was an error which it corrected on the 9th of May.”
The special committee is expected to make its recommendations at the INEC board meeting on Thursday, August 17th.
“It would appear that the plan is to exclude APGA from 2023 elections”, according to a lawyer who spoke to Elendureports.
“By not recognising Edozie Njoku as chairman of APGA INEC is effectively excluding APGA and its candidates as according to the law the candidates whose nominations were signed by Victor Oye are deemed to be improperly nominated.”
From all indications, the INEC abdication or outright refusal to obey the Supreme Court order on the APGA crisis would only prolong it and effectively hand Victor Oye victory through the backdoor.