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Court Orders Immediate Swearing-in of Okonkwo as Senator Representing Anambra Central


A Federal High Court, Abuja, Wednesday ordered the immediate swearing-in of Dr. Obiora Okonkwo of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as Senator representing Anambra Central Senatorial District.
Justice John Tsoho who gave the order in a judgment, also ordered the Senate President Bukola Saraki to immediately inaugurate Oknokwo to fill the vacant Anambra central Senatorial seat.
In the uncontested suit, Justice Tsoho ordered that the Certificates of Return earlier issued to another aspirant, Mrs Uche Ekwenife be withdrawn and that a fresh one be issued to Okonkwo by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Okonkwo had, in 2014 instituted a court action against PDP, the then National Chairman, Adamu Muazu, INEC and Mrs Uche Ekwenife, challenging the nomination of Ekwenife as candidate of the party for the 2015 National Assembly election.
However, in the course of hearing of the suit, all the four defendants withdrew their processes against the case and agreed to submit themselves to the judgment of the Federal High Court.
The Judge in his judgment, agreed with the submission of the plaintiff’s counsel, that in view of the withdrawal of all the defendants, the court was at liberty to enter judgment in favour of the plaintiff.
Justice Tsoho said with the withdrawal of the defendants and their consent to abide by the court’s judgment, the plaintiff has emerged as the lawful candidate of PDP in the March 28, 2015 National Assembly Election for Anambra Central Senatorial District.
Counsel to the plaintiff, Sebastine Hon, in an interview with journalists shortly after the judgment, said the judiciary has once again proven to be the hope of the ordinary Nigerians.
While commending the defendants for their maturity in the matter, he lamented that the people of the affected senatorial district had been without representative since 2015 when the Court of Appeal, Enugu nullified Ekwenife’s election.
He noted that the judgment has however restored hope for the people.
Only few weeks back, the Court of Appeal, Abuja, in its judgment delivered on the Anambra Central Senatorial tussle ordered INEC to conduct a rerun election within 90 days to fill the vacant Anambra Central Senatorial position in the National Assembly.
The court in the judgment however ordered the exclusion of the PDP and its candidate from participating in the said rerun.
Following the Appeal Court’s decision INEC announced January 13 for the election, while the PDP appealed to the Supreme Court, challenging its exclusion from the rerun.

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