The Supreme Court, on Wednesday, February 24, ruled that Senators Stella Oduah, Andy Uba and other lawmakers elected under the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Anambra State, are to retain their seats.
Ruling on the matter the Supreme Court stated that it does not have the jurisdiction as “the court shall not review any judgement given by it, as stated in the court rules. The judgement of this Court is final as reflected in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended. On the whole I hold the view that this court has no jurisdiction to entertain this motion from INEC, this matter is hereby stuck out.”
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC had approached the Supreme Court seeking clarity on its ruling on the 29th of January 2016 that reinstated Mr. Ejike Oguebego as the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Anambra State Chapter. There were insinuations that since Oduah and Uba did not brlong to Oguebego’s faction, their election could not stand.
The Court said the issue of primaries was not included in the appeal that came before it as the matter was filed at the High Court, even before primaries was held.
The Justices pointed out that the Supreme Court had ruled several times that only the National Executive of a party can forward a list to INEC, and since INEC said it was the National Executive that did that, and not the caretaker committee, then there was no contest.
The court reminded INEC that the judgement reinstating Oguebego was not its own judgement as it only upheld the earlier ruling of the High Court and overturned the judgement of the Appeal Court.
It then asked the Counsel to the INEC, Chief Awomolo, to convince the court that it had jurisdiction.
The Supreme Court held that there was no issue of primaries before it as the case was filed in the High Court even before primaries and was therefore baffled that INEC would claim ignorance of it’s judgement.
When Chief Awomalo could not convince the Supreme Court of its jurisdiction, he said he had read the stance and body language of the court and will rest his case.