A High Court in the Federal Capital Territory has ordered the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Yakubu Mahmood, and ex-factional Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Victor Oye, to purge themselves of contempt of court within 14 days or face the full wrath of the law.
Justice Mohammed Madugu gave the order on Thursday in a judgement on a committal proceeding (Form 49) which was drawn from a motion on notice filed against Oye and Mahmood by two APGA National Working Committee members.
The petitioners are asking the court to send the INEC Chairman and Oye to prison for disobeying a valid order of the court made on May 10, which had restrained Oye and APGA from conducting Ward, Local Government, State Congresses and Convention.
Justice Madugu had on May 10 ordered the INEC Chairman and Oye to maintain status quo ante bellum pending the hearing of a preliminary objection filed by Oye. However, Oye disobeyed the court order and went ahead to conduct the Congresses under the supervision of the INEC later in May.
In his judgement, Justice Madugu held that Oye and Mahmood were in contempt of court for disobeying the court order. He gave them 14 days to purge themselves of contempt by complying with the court order or face the full wrath of the law.
The judge said that disobedience to a valid court order undermines the integrity and sanctity of the court. He warned that the “insanity of flouting court order must stop.