UPDATED: Anambra Central Controversy: INEC yet to receive court judgement – Official

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC has said it is yet to receive a copy of the recent court judgement on the Anambra central senatorial election.

INEC had scheduled a re-run election for January 13, 2018 to fill the vacant seat, following a judgement by the appeal court.

However, a federal high court ruled on Wednesday that Obiora Okonkwo of the PDP be sworn in as senator for the zone.

Speaking with PREMIUM TIMES via telephone, INEC spokesperson, Rotimi Oyekanmi, confirmed that he is aware of the ruling but said the commission is yet to get a copy of to judgement to study and make a decision whether to go ahead with the re-run election or not.

The seat has been vacant since 2015 after the sack of Uche Ekwunife by the election tribunal. Ms. Ekwunife had earlier been declared winner of the election by INEC.

However following the judgement by the Federal High Court on Wednesday in Abuja, ordering the return of Obiora Okonkwo as the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP’s candidate in Anambra State, as the duly elected member of the district in 2015, a twist was added to the legal tussle.

The suit was filed by Mr. Okonkwo, who was aggrieved that he was denied the slot even though he won the party primaries.

The court’s judgement delivered by presiding judge, John Tsoho, granted the complainant’s request.

Mr. Oyekanmi said, “of course we are aware of (ruling) but we haven’t received a copy of the court’s order. I am not sure the commission has details. We need to see the judgement to know if it’s enough to alter our decision,” he said.

INEC later released a stement on Thursday evening restating this stance.

“It will be recalled that following the judgment of the Court of Appeal, the Commission announced that the outstanding election to fill the vacant seat for the Anambra Central Senatorial District would take place on 13th January 2018. However, the attention of the Commission has been drawn to the judgement of the Federal High Abuja on the issue, delivered on 13thDecember 2017. The Commission has applied for the Certified True Copy of the judgement to enable us take a decision,”‎ May Agbmuche-Mbu, National Commissioner of INEC said.

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