Appeal Court stops arrest of INEC chairman

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Mahmoud Yakub, INEC Chairman

The Court of Appeal in Abuja on Monday ordered a stay of execution of the arrest warrant issued against the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu.

Justice Abdul Aboki who gave the stay of execution order also adjourned the hearing of the suit filed by the INEC Chairman to September 17, 2018.

Justice Stephen Pam of a Federal High Court in Abuja had issued the arrest warrant on August 8 after the INEC chairman failed to appear before him on three occasions.

The judge had on July 5 ordered Yakubu to appear before him to show cause why he should not be sent to prison for contempt of court.

He made the order for Mahmood to appear before him while ruling on a preliminary objection by INEC and its Chairman in a contempt proceeding filed by Ejike Oguebego and Chuks Okoye, Chairman and Legal Adviser of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Anambra State, respectively.

Five days later, on July 10 when the court sat again, the INEC boss was absent in court. His counsel, Mr Adeboyega Awomolo, informed the court that his client had filed an appeal challenging that order at the appeal court and another appeal before the Federal High Court asking for a stay of proceedings pending the determination of the appeal.

Channels tv reports that during the continuation of the trial on Wednesday, August 8, Justice Pam demanded to know from the counsel to the INEC Chairman, Adegboyega Awomolo, why he was not in court.

Replying, Awomolo said he does not know where the INEC chairman is and that it is beyond his brief to produce his client. He added that if the court wants the INEC chairman to appear in court, the IGP should produce him.

Justice Pam, therefore, ordered the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, to arrest and bring Yakubu to court.