Anambra Central: INEC pleads with Court to vacate judgment

— It was a legal fireworks today January 11, 2018 at the Federal High Court Abuja presided over by Justice John Tsoho.

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC which has refused to make public its position on the judgement of Justice Tsoho of the Federal High Court, Abuja delivered on December 13, 2017 and by which INEC was ordered to issue Certificate of a return to Dr Obiora Okonkwo.

At the hearing this afternoon, the INEC Commissioner for legal matters, INEC Director for legal department and many other top INEC lawyers were present at the court.

INEC which fixed January 13, and insists that the rerun election must hold despite the consent judgement declaring Dr Obiora Okonkwo as the duly elected senator to represent Anambra Central senatorial zone reverted to the federal high court Abuja where it asked the court to vacate its earlier judgement.

The INEC lawyer placed its reason for the application for variation of the December 13 judgement on the judgement of the Appeal Court delivered on November 20, 2017, which ordered the commission to conduct the rerun election within 90 days.

Responding to the INEC application, the PDP lawyer told the court that it is an aberration in law for a lower court to revoke its own judgement.

The lawyer insisted that it is only the Supreme Court that can revoke its judgement if it finds out that such judgement was given in error.

The PDP lawyer therefore argued that INEC or any interested party to the judgement should proceed to the Appeal Court to the challenge the judgement as the position canvassed by INEC is not obtainable. He went further to inform the court that INEC should have put forward their argument during the trial but can not return to court after judgement in a matter it earlier agree to submit to its decision.

He therefore ask the court to strike out the INEC application and uphold its earlier judgement in favour of his client.

The PDP lawyer also appealed the court to compel INEC to obey its December 13 judgment.

At the end of the hearing, Justice Tsoho reserved ruling to Friday, January 12, 2018.

However, it is unclear why INEC chose to return to the high court to plead for vacation instead of appealing the judgement at the time many concluded that INEC would continue with the rerun election on Saturday and damn the high court judgement.

Whatever the court rules on Friday will determine the fate of the January 13 rerun election as the application to be ruled on was solely instituted by INEC.