Low voter turnout mars Anambra Central Senatorial rerun

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Earlier, Okonkwo's effort to postpone the rerun at the Appeal Court failed as a ruling on the matter by a three-man panel of justices presided by Justice Abubakar Datti Yahaya, held that the earlier order made on November 20, 2017 directing INEC to conduct election for the senatorial seat within 90 days can not be reversed so as not to make mockery of the judiciary.

The Federal High Court, Abuja, has set aside its earlier judgment directing the swearing in of Dr. Obiora Okonkwo as the senator representing Anambra Central Senatorial District.

It will be recalled that the judge had on December 13, 2017, ordered that Okonkwo be sworn-in as a senator representing Anambra central senatorial district and also ordered INEC to issue him a certificate of return.

The minister said he had, in accordance with the provisions of the Electoral Act, informed INEC of his withdrawal from the rerun election on January 11, 2016 when the election was originally scheduled for March 2016.

Tsoho vacated the judgment and set it aside on the grounds that Okonkwo misled the court to get the consent judgment.

Anambra Central is the only zone that does not have a senator since the Court of Appeal sitting in Enugu ordered the removal of Mrs. Uche Ekwunife from the seat because her party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, did not conduct any credible primary.

He drew the attention of Okonkwo to an appeal filed by his party against the judgment of the Appeal Court, which ostensibly showed he and PDP are interested parties.

The judge said that he could set aside his judgment because it was a consent judgment and not a judgment based on merit.

The Judge further held that in the doctrine of precedence, the Court of Appeal's decision took precedence over and above that of any lower court. "Consequently, this suit is adjourned indefinitely pending the outcome of the appeals filed by the PDP at the Supreme Court".

Meanwhile, Okonkwo has indicated his intention to challenge the exercise at the appellate court. If the consent judgment of this court is at variance with the decisions of the Court of Appeal, it is bound to be declared a nullity.

He noted that since his party, the PDP was a party to the suits; it implied that he, (Okonkwo) was also a party.